Croc teaches anglers not to camp on the water’s edge

2014-01-30 00:00

THIS time the angler was the big one that got away — flailing and screaming as he escaped from the jaws of a crocodile. His sleeping bag did not make it, however.

The reptile had grabbed the foot of Bazil Roth, from Botswana, on Saturday night and tried to drag him out of his tent at the Rust de Winter dam in Limpopo.

Roth and his friend Barend Lamp­recht had been angling at the dam over the weekend.

Roth said the croc had first tried to grab Lamprecht. “I awoke with Barend yelling and crawling to my side of the tent,” said Roth.

When they checked outside, they saw a 2,4 metre crocodile in the water a short distance from their camp. “It was then that we saw the large gashes in the tent. Barend said it could be the croc’s teeth marks, but I laughed him off, saying crocodiles wouldn’t bite a tent.”

A bit later Roth was asleep again when he felt something grab his foot and start to drag him out of the tent. “I yelled hysterically and kicked as hard as I could. Luckily I could get my foot free. I saw the crocodile through the tent’s netting. My sleeping bag was still in its mouth!”

Lamprecht had meanwhile exited the tent at speed — also screaming hysterically — and was throwing everything he could find at the croc, including tent pegs, camping chairs and fishing rods.

As the croc waddled back into the water, the mates hurriedly moved their camp a lot further away from the water’s edge. The croc did not bother them again that night.

Roth said his sleeping bag had saved him. His foot suffered “only minimal damage”.

He said his lucky escape should be a lesson to other anglers not to camp too close to the water.

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