Hunter Punches Crocodile on the Nose After Being Bitten on the Groin

An Australian man was lucky to escape without serious injury over the weekend after fighting a crocodile that bit him on the leg and groin area.

Elston Lami Lami, 42, said the attack occurred as he was hunting with a relative and two dogs on Saturday close to Minjilang on Croker Island, which is about 200 kilometers northeast off the coast of the country's Northern Territory, local radio station ABC Darwin reported on Monday.

The victim told 9News the saltwater crocodile, which was about 16-feet long, lashed out after he mistakenly stepped on it while wading through shallow water, thinking that it was a wooden log.

"I actually climbed on and stood on top of the croc for 15 seconds," Lami Lami said. "My cousin then told me I was standing on top of its back, and in a split second he spun me around and knocked me over. He started flipping me and I hit the bank, then he attacked."

According to Lami Lami, the predator made contact with his left leg and dragged him along the creek. It briefly loosened its jaws and retreated after being "kicked it in the nose three times," he added. The man said that he was forced to fight back after it returned to finish the attack.

Lami Lami said the reptile bit down on his shorts as he tried to flee to the bank edge. "I held the jaw with my right hand, and I hammered it with my left hand," he told 9News.

"I hit him three times in the nose, he let me go," Lami Lami told ABC Darwin. "Come back again, try and attack me. When he snapped at me, I grabbed him, held him at the jaw with two hands and I was getting weak so I thought the only way to get his attention, I had to hit him again." The man said blood was "gushing" from his leg and he ran from the area.

After making his way back to his vehicle, a 30-minute trek, the man said he took painkillers and was admitted to the Minjilang Community Health Centre. He was later flown by CareFlight paramedics to the Royal Darwin Hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

"This is his first time being attacked by a crocodile," said CareFlight pilot Jamie Humphreys, who responded to the remote island, 9News reported. "He said he never had fears about walking through murky water or creeks before but he's changed his mind now."

According to the Northern Territory government, there are believed to be between 100,000 and 200,000 saltwater crocodiles in the wild in the region. "Saltwater crocodiles are dangerous to people and pets," it warns online, adding: "It is never 100 percent safe to enter the water."

Saltwater crocodile
File photo: Saltwater crocodile in Adelaide river near Darwin. An Australia man was lucky to escape without serious injury over the weekend after fighting off a 16-foot crocodile. iStock