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Mark Ridge, from Cairns, Queensland, was swimming in a local lake when he encountered the croc, having suddenly felt the impact of its jaws on the top of his head.
Fortunately, he was somehow able to fend off the massive reptile - suffering surprisingly minor injuries, with lacerations on his arms, shoulder and neck... and a 'few holes' in his head.
Ridge, an experienced swimmer, had been enjoying a dip in nearby Lake Placid at about 12.40pm on Thursday (28 January) when the crocodile pounced on him.
After managing to wrestle himself free, he swam 400m to shore to seek help before being rushed to Cairns Base Hospital - his opponent still roaming around in the water.
Speaking to Channel 7, Ridge joked: "It's been a bit out of the normal - it's not every day you get chewed on.
"You're only got two weapons and that's your hands. So you do what you have to do."
Authorities have been unable to trap the crocodile, but Ridge is keen to see justice served to his scaly foe.
"I don't want them to catch it, I just want them to shoot it - it's a menace," he said, adding that he doesn't plan to enter the water again anytime soon.
He added: "The first time I've had a bump-in with a crocodile, so hopefully it's the last."
CROC ATTACK UPDATE:
- Wildlife team is at the scene
- Searches for the croc on land & water
- Croc is targeted for removal
- Wet season is breeding time so crocs can be more aggressive
- Injured man was taken to Cairns Hospital by @QldAmbulance
More: https://t.co/hjVDZTkW73 pic.twitter.com/pbBJAVGQ0H
- Queensland Environment (@QldEnvironment) January 28, 2021
The brave dad was described as being 'very fit', having told paramedics he swims at Lake Placid multiple times a week.
Critical care paramedic Paul Sweeney told 9News: "When we got there, he was remarkably calm and it was clear there were puncture marks on his head.
"He described to us that the crocodile had bitten his head and he had tried to pry its jaws off his hand and as he did so, its jaws snapped on his hand."
A statement from the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Science confirmed wildlife officers were investigating after a man was bitten by a crocodile at Lake Placid in the Cairns region.
"The man was swimming in the lake at about 12.45pm when he was bitten by the crocodile around the head and shoulders, receiving minor injuries," the statement said.
"He was taken to hospital by the Queensland Ambulance Service."
Explaining that any crocodiles that 'post a threat to human safety' are 'targeted for removal' under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, it added: "Wildlife officers will conduct a site assessment of Lake Placid and seek further information about the attack to assist with the removal of the animal.
"Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Lake Placid is within Zone B (Active Removal Zone). This means that any crocodile confirmed to be present is targeted for removal by DES and its contractors."
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