A lakeside baptism ceremony ended in disaster when a large nile crocodile leapt from the water and mauled the pastor to death, it has been reported.
Docho Eshete was allegedly grabbed by the crocodile soon after he started a mass baptism for 80 people on the shores of Lake Abaya in southern Ethiopia.Africa.
“He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC.
“Suddenly, this huge crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed onto the pastor.”
Pastor Docho was said to have been savagedly ravaged on his legs, back and hands.
As his horrified congregation looked on, local fishermen reportedly struggled to rescue him. It was said they succeeded only in using their nets to prevent the crocodile from taking the 45-year-old’s pastors body into the lake, near the city of Arba Minch.
The crocodile is believed to have escaped.
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Lake Abaya, Ethiopia’s second largest lake, is quite beautiful, but the Lonely Planet travel guide warns: “It has a very large population of crocodiles, which are known to be aggressive towards humans and animals because the lake has few fish, which is their preferred food option.”
It is more than likely that the reptile that killed Pastor Docho was a Nile Crocodile. Some Nile Crocodiles can grow to be up to around six metres (20ft) long while weighing as much as 1,000kg (1 ton), and some estimates suggest the species is responsible for more than at least 300 attacks on people in Africa every year.
It is believed to be responsible for more attacks on people than any other crocodile species, and it has been said that the Nile Crocodile causes the third highest number of large-animal-related human fatalities in the African continent, after hippos and lions.
One study has noted that for the Nile Crocodile, “an opportunistic, ambush style predator”, humans are “less powerful and slower in water than any similar-sized wild mammal and therefore a much easier prey.”