9-year-old boy in Malaysia fights off croc who attacked him on his swim home
KOTA KINABALU - A plucky nine-year-old boy in Malaysia fought off a crocodile that attacked him while he was swimming home in the sea when the tide was high.
He managed to stave off the reptile after a struggle, though he was left with bites to his left hand, shoulder and head.
“The boy is in stable condition. He received eight stitches to his injured hand,” said Sabah Wildlife Department’s Sandakan assistant officer Mozain Abbas.
The attack happened at about 1pm on Tuesday at the water village of Kampung Batu Putih in Sandakan, Sabah.
The boy and his friends had decided to swim back to their seaside stilt houses as there was a high tide. Their journey was interrupted by the crocodile’s emergence.
Mr Urbin Markum, 39, came to his son’s rescue while the boy was fighting off the crocodile, before taking him to a private clinic for treatment.
Sabah Wildlife’s Mr Mozain said a wildlife team was deployed to monitor the area after the incident.
“When the water receded, our team surveyed the area but there was no sign of the crocodile,” he said.
The residents there have been advised to stay vigilant.
“Adults must ensure children are not in the water or playing in the area near the river,” he said.
Crocodile attacks have been increasing in east Malaysian state Sabah’s east coast rivers in Beluran and Lahad Datu, among others.
On Tuesday, a 12-year-old boy was killed in a crocodile attack on Sumangat Payau island in Sandakan.
In state capital Kota Kinabalu, crocodiles can be seen daily in a pond near the popular Likas Sports Complex.
Although no untoward incidents have occurred, concerns remain over the presence of at least four to five crocodiles there.
The sports authorities have put up warning signs while wildlife rangers have placed traps, but so far none of the reptiles have been captured. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
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