Croc Bites Man, Man Bites Croc

If you or I happened to be attacked by a three-meter saltwater crocodile, that might be all she wrote. But the folks of Australia are made of tougher-than-average stuff. So when 60-something Ozzie cattle producer Colin Deveraux was attacked by a “dirty bastard” (his words) of a croc while checking his fenceline, he did the only thing he could.

He bit the thing right in the eye.

Crocodiles kill by latching onto prey, dragging it into the water, and spinning violently. That’s exactly the position Devaraux found himself in after the croc grabbed his right foot and started backing into the murky waters of a billabong. After attempts to kick the croc in the ribs failed, Devaraux found himself down to his most primal weapon.

“By accident my teeth caught his eyelid. It was pretty thick, like holding onto leather, but I jerked back on his eyelid and he let go. I leapt away and took off with great steps up to where my car was,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC).

“He chased me for a bit, maybe four meters, but then stopped.”

a billabong

Billabongs like this one offer ambush predators like saltwater crocodiles plenty of places to hide…and wait. Photo: Shutterstock


The last saltwater crocodile-related fatality in Australia occurred in April, on the Kennedy River in Queensland, the BBC reported. Determined not to be the latest addition to that somber list, Devaraux stopped his own bleeding using a towel and some rope.

But Australia being what it is, it was still a 130km drive from Twin Hill Station — where the attack occurred — to reasonable medical treatment. Luckily, Devaraux’s brother was on hand to shuttle him to Royal Darwin Hospital, where the cattleman spent a month in recovery. He’s set to walk later this week, but it’s been a tough road.

“Biggest problem was having to clear out all the bad bacteria…so all of the billabong water full of mud, goose s**t, duck s**t, and crocodile teeth marks,” he said. Devaraux’s treatment involved a skin graft, among other things.

As for the croc? Devaraux somewhat brusquely told ABC the animal had been “removed.”

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew’s essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals.
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