HomeOutdoorsNewsManhunt Launched for Giant Crocodile That Ate 1-Year-Old in Canoe With Father

Manhunt Launched for Giant Crocodile That Ate 1-Year-Old in Canoe With Father

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by DEA / G.SIOEN/De Agostini via Getty Images)

On December 1, a Paluah tribesman in Malaysia set out for a day of canoe fishing with his 1-year-old son in tow. He knew bringing his baby on the excursion was risky, as the river near their home was a known crocodile‘s paradise. But, like many of his fellow villagers, the man relied on the treacherous waters for food for his family.

So, he carefully placed his fishing gear and his son into the canoe, trusting that the small wooden boat would keep them safe from the dangers below. As he paddled down the river, however, the father’s worst nightmare was made real.

A massive 11-foot crocodile launched itself from the depths, snatching the boy in its jaws before sinking back down into the murky water.

With no weapons to speak of, the terrified father did the unthinkable. Before he could consider his actions, the man lunged after the monstrous reptile, desperately attempting to pull his son free of its bone-crushing grip with his bare hands.

A brief battle with the crocodile left the father empty-handed with grisly bite wounds covering his arm and head. In excruciating pain and unable to fight any further, he had no choice but to watch as the reptile dragged his son out of sight.

Shortly thereafter, a group of villagers arrived at the shoreline, helping the grieving father to safety. They then called a search and rescue team to the scene, who assisted the father before launching a search for the vicious crocodile.

Search for Vicious Crocodile Remains Unsuccessful

After doing what they could to stop the bleeding, rescue officials transported the man to a hospital for further treatment. There, he was given stitches for his extensive injuries, including several horrific bite marks and a deep wound on his head.

Wildlife officials searched tirelessly for the crocodile in the aftermath, the manhunt stretching for days. Sadly, however, they were unsuccessful. “It is quite hard to capture the crocodile at sea. [On December 4] our men shot one dead but later discovered that it was not the one that attacked the child,” Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga told The Star.

As of now, both the baby and the crocodile remain missing, according to Sumsoa Rashin, head of the local Fire and Rescue Agency.

Crocodile attacks are exceedingly rare, even in croc-infested waters such as those the man and his son were canoeing. The enormous reptiles don’t hunt humans by nature. They can and will, however, attack when provoked or frightened. In addition, crocodiles can become aggressive when they become desensitized to humans from hand feeding.

“We have warned them of the extra dangers at the moment,” Rashin said. “And to be especially careful because the crocodile is likely to be still in the area.”