Crocodile drags teenager out of tent in Australia

Camper escapes with minor injuries after waking up to find animal's jaws locked around his foot

(Image credit: Warren Little/Getty)

A sleeping camper found himself being dragged out of his tent by a crocodile, which had clamped its jaws around his right foot.

Peter Rowsell was with his family beside a remote creek in Australia's Northern Territory when the incident occurred. Remarkably, the 19-year-old was not seriously injured and escaped with puncture marks on his right foot.

"I was sleeping in a mozzie net," he told ABC. "I woke up and there was something shaking my foot."

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He estimated that the creature, who released him after he struck it on the head, was "three to four metres" – ten to 13ft - in size.

Rowsell's family rushed him to the nearest hospital, two hours' drive away in the town of Katherine, where he was treated with antibiotics in case of infection. He said he was "a bit sore".

The number of crocodile attacks has risen following the decision to end widespread culling in 1971, when numbers had dwindled. Since then, the population has exploded and the animals are finding their way into areas where they were previously not seen.

In 2014, a crocodile attacked five boys swimming in Kakadu National Park, also in the Northern Territory, killing one of them. A community spokesman said at the time that locals recalled swimming in the same spot in the 1970s and 1980s without incident.

Last year, Australia's National Parks department launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the danger, including a video with narration in English, Kriol and several Aboriginal languages.


The English version also contains a rap warning rural residents about the dangers of spear hunting alone or letting limbs dangle over the sides of fishing boats.

Following Roswell's attack, experts have repeated official warnings to camp away from waterways.

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