A 55-year-old woman has been killed after being dragged into a river by a crocodile yesterday morning (May 26).
Janaki Jena had gone to water the vegetable plantation in the backyard of her house in Rajnagar in the Kendrapara district of India, but alarm bells were raised when she failed to return.
Family members and locals began a frantic search of the banks of the Hansua River after a giant crocodile spotted nearby with a half-eaten body in its jaws.
Firefighters and forest officials arrived at the scene and retrieved the half-eaten body after distracting the crocodile, with locals now in mourning following the tragic death.
Huge crocodiles are no stranger to these parts, with the nearby Bhitarkanika National Park and the Mahanadi region home to over 1,500 saltwater crocodiles.
Attacks are commonplace given such a high density of people and reptiles, but loss of human life is most frequently recorded during the monsoon and winter months when it is nesting season.
Attacks often occur when humans intrude into the habitat of the animal, for illegal fishing, poaching, wood collection and honey collection, according the local reports. Similarly, in the wake of depleted food reserves in the river system, crocodiles stray into nearby rivulets and come into contact with locals.
Each year around 1,000 people are killed by crocodiles, making the cold-blooded predators more deadly than sharks.
Most crocodile attacks occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where there are large concentrations of Nile crocodiles along waterways that thousands of people use daily.
Earlier this year, Alexander Chimedza, from Nyamunga in Kariba managed to fight off four crocodiles after he fell into a pond at a sewage farm in Zimbabwe trying to collect worms for fishing bait.
Luckily, some of his fishing buddies were nearby and tried to help out, pelting the crocodiles with rocks.
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