A safari guide is lucky to be alive after a 12ft crocodile attacked him and dragged him into a river.
Mark Montgomery, 52, was leading a group of intrepid walkers through the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa when the horror incident occurred.
The group stopped for lunch and needed water for their kettle, which Mark went to retrieve from the River Metsi nearby.
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But as he was collecting the water in a container, the crocodile's head – measuring about two feet long – suddenly emerged from the water and the creature latched onto Mark's hand with its jaws.
Mark said: "It was so quick, so quick.
"I didn’t even see it come out the water. I only had time to say, 'Oh sh**', and I was in its jaws and underwater and being taken down."
Mark wrapped his other hand around the crocodile's neck and tried to poke it in the eyes in a bid to distract the beast, while also trying to ply open its jaws.
He said he heard people shouting from the bank but knew he had to fight off the reptile alone.
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"The crocodile started the roll and I was using my right leg to turn with it and at that moment it just let go of my hand and I breached the surface five feet from the bank.
"I grabbed a fallen tree and pulled myself over it then got out through the roots and onto the bank on the far side of the river and walked to a shallow point and crossed back."
Mark was checked over by first aiders before being taken to a nearby medical centre, where he received three surgeries.
So far his treatment has gone smoothly and he is expected to eventually make a full recovery.
Appearing on the YouTube channel Wildside Trails & Training, he vowed to be more careful in future.
"It won’t put me off guiding but I will be a lot more wary of water and a lot more vigilant," he said.
"Its strength was incredible and I was very lucky."
The Kruger National Park, roughly the size of Wales, is famous for its treacherous 400-mile hike known as the Kruger Trail, usually completed in six legs.
It is usually done in two legs per year, meaning participants spend three years completing the trail.
Mark, who has been a safari guide since 1998, was on the fifth leg of the journey when the terrifying incident took place.
Kruger National Park spokesman Isaac Phaala said: "No matter how many times you have guided this route you respect your territory and remember this is the place wild animals call home.
"We are just glad he did not receive life-threatening injuries and survived."
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