Escaped crocodile attacks toddler in Vietnam

March 23rd, 2009 - 1:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Hanoi, March 23 (DPA) A mother narrowly rescued her one-year-old son from an attack by a crocodile that had escaped from a nearby farm, a police officer in Vietnam’s Mekong delta said Monday.
The woman was holding her son over a canal to relieve himself Sunday when the 100-kg crocodile leapt out of the water and snapped at the child’s foot.

The mother managed to pull her son back and outrun the crocodile that pursued her onto land, said Nguyen Minh Quang, police chief of An Binh Ward in the province of Can Tho. Four local men subdued the crocodile with ropes and sticks.

The child was not injured.

“It is mating season, so the crocodile was more aggressive than usual,” Quang said.

The animal had broken through the fence of a crocodile farm only 70 metres away. The Tien Phong newspaper reported that the farm owner paid the locals who captured the crocodile 3 million dong ($170) for its return.

Quang said the owner had a licence to raise the crocodiles and could not be punished, but that police had warned him to strengthen his fences. The farm currently has 11 crocodiles, including eight large adults.

Last September, farmers in the southern province of Dong Nai caught 14 crocodiles that escaped from crocodile farms during floods.

In September 2007, hundreds of crocodiles were on the loose in the central Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa after floodwaters broke their cages on a breeding farm. Several crocodiles which attacked people were shot dead by authorities.

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