Fidel Castro's Crocodile Bites Elderly Man Giving Speech at Party, Fellow Guests Use Napkins to Stop Bleeding

An elderly man in Sweden has been taken to hospital after he was attacked by a crocodile that once belonged to Fidel Castro, according to reports.

The man, reported to be in his 70s, was bitten while attending a party at the Skansen Aquarium in Stockholm.

"He had his arm on the wrong side of the security glass and was then bitten by one of the crocodiles," police control room officer Mikael Pettersson told Swedish news agency TT.

According to the BBC, fellow guests who attended the event, which marked the start of crayfish season, used napkins to help stop the bleeding until emergency services arrived.

Pettersson confirmed that the man was "heavily bandaged" by the time police arrived at the scene.

Jonas Wahlström, owner of the Skansen Aquarium, claimed he tried to warn the man about putting his hand over the glass.

"What I saw was that he climbed up on a rock and was holding one of his arms over the glass barrier of the crocodile exhibit because he was going to give a speech," Wahlström told The Local.

"He turned his back and the crocodile saw his hand coming down from his arm and just attacked him and bit him. Luckily the crocodile dropped him after maybe 10 seconds so he could be taken care of."

Wahlström said the aquarium now needs to make a series of changes to ensure this does not happen again.

"First of all, we have to change a little bit on the walls for the crocodiles so it's impossible to climb up like what he did. And we started that work today," he said.

"Nothing like this has ever happened with these crocodiles before, we've had them for more than 40 years, about 41 years. But of course, even if it takes 41 years for the first time, it could happen that some other person will climb up and so we have to make it impossible."

The animal is one of two crocodiles which are houses at the aquarium. The pair, now named Hillary and Castro, arrived in Sweden from Moscow Zoo in 1981, where they were donated by Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov.

Shatalov was gifted the crocodiles by Fidel Castro in the late 1970s. The crocodiles have had 11 offspring since arriving in Stockholm. In 2015, Wahlström transported 10 of the baby crocodiles to Cuba to help with its dwindling population, the Associated Press reported at the time.

crocodile
(File photo) Close-up profile of cuban crocodile with mouth open. A man has been injured after he was bitten by a crocodile that once belonged to Fidel Castro. B. Von Hoffmann/ClassicStock/Getty
Fidel Castro's Crocodile Bites Elderly Man Giving Speech at Party, Fellow Guests Use Napkins to Stop Bleeding | World
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