Kendrapara (Odisha): A 37-year-old woman from Singiri village under Rajkanika police station limits has shown exemplary courage in staving off an attacking crocodile.
Sabitri Samal, a housewife, who is currently undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital, recalled from her hospital bed how she was attacked by a giant crocodile yesterday while washing utensils in a creek near her house.
"The creek where I was washing utensils was never intruded by crocodiles. None of us had sighted the reptile in the past. The attack was so sudden that I had little time to react. An aluminium cooking bowl and cooking stick that I had brought from home to wash saved me from death," Samal said.
"It was a miraculous escape. The reptile pounced on me and dragged me to water. I was about to be completely dragged into the water when I hit the croc on its forehead and eye... The animal slowly released me. I acted in the spur of moment as I had taken it for granted that the animal would devour
me," she recalled.
The latest crocodile attack occurred outside the national park limits. The state forest department would bear the cost of treatment, Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya said. Besides the department would also award compensation to the injured person's family as per revised rules, the official said.
Since past two months, man-crocodile conflict has reached alarming proportions in villages located on the periphery of the Bhitarkanika National Park. The crocs have claimed two lives while injuring at least seven others.
Forest personnel, however, opine that people are exposing themselves to attacks by venturing into crocodile-infested water bodies.