Crocodile attacks child's canoe
The days where anyone could dive into a loｭcal river, swim a few laps and return to the side are long over.
Alan van Coller from the Melkriver district and his family exｭpeｭrienｭced this first hand on Monｭday, 4 November.
Van Coller, an experienced rower, regularly takes his family canoeing on the dam near their house on their farm. They have previously spotted two crocodiles there, but had them caught and removed by a local crocodile farm. According to Van Coller the dam had been crocodile free for a few months now.
On this particular Monday, Van Coller had his daughter Emma (11) and son Daniel (9) with him. The dam, that is about 300 m long, has a soft bend towards the one side, and one cannot see the end of it from the launch pad of the canoes.
Each member of the family was rowing their own canoe and they were nearly at the end of the dam when Van Coller realized that he had forgotten to bring with a paddle they would need and started to row back to the launch pad at a brisk pace. He was on his way back towards his children when he heard a terrified scream pierce the silence.
At first I did not realize what was happening, and then I heard Daniel scream 闊ｹad and crocodile? Van Coller said.
Van Coller rowed towards the screaming kids at an incredible pace, and when he came around the last bend, all he could see was that Emma痴 canoe was turned upside down and that Daniel looked hysterical in his canoe.?
The next moment Emma came up from underneath the boat, and started to swim towards him. Van Coller loaded her onto the back of his canoe and made sure that she stayed on the boat and that no body parts were hanging off the sides.
Only then could he determine what exactly had happened. According to his daughter a crocodile (later caught and measured at 2,5 m) visibly swam underneath Daniels canoe. The crocodile came out of the water and bit into the front of Emma痴 canoe, tipping her into the water and the canoe upside down.
Van Coller says that after he had delivered his kids back to their mother, he went back to fetch Emma逞ｴ canoe, and the same crocodile came straight for his canoe. The crocodile only left him alone after a few beats on the head with a paddle.
The crocodile might previously have been a habituated crocodile. This type of behavior is not normal crocodile behavior, he said. Daniels piercing screams might have been what had frightened the crocodile away, allowing Emma to have a very narrow escape.
Van Coller later phoned the Molekwa Crocodile Farm near Melkrivier and they came and caught the crocodile.
?Van Collers eldest daughter, Genevieve (16), was recently bitten by a black mamba.
The crocodile that had attacked Emma van Collers canoe, was caught by Molekwa Crocodile Farm. It measured 2,5 m.