Man fights crocodile with panga

2012-02-25 12:10
Johannesburg - A Tzaneen field ranger may lose his leg after saving a colleague from the jaws of a crocodile, according to a report on Saturday.

"I heard terrible screaming," recalled Norman Chiwawu, 27, who jumped into the Mogalakwena River on Monday afternoon after spotting his colleague, only known as Knowledge, being thrashed around in the water.

He attacked the reptile with a panga and it let go of the man, reported Beeld newspaper.

But it then turned on Chiwawu.

"I was on my way back to the river bank, when I heard a 'click' sound, as the crocodile put its jaws around my leg."

Chiwawu managed to hold on to a reed with one hand and pushed the crocodile away with his other hand, before pulling himself onto an island. He tried to stop the bleeding on his leg with his T-shirt.

By that time, workers had called one of the directors of the Mogalakwena Nature Reserve, Christiaan Coetsee, who ventured into the river himself with a shotgun and swam out with Chiwawu on his back.

"People say I am a hero, but I am a hero who may lose his leg," Chiwawu said from the Tzaneen Medi-Clinic.

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