Wildlife park owner attacked by crocodile

Sydney - An Australian wildlife park owner, locally known as the "barefoot bushman," was Thursday attacked by a large crocodile at his crocodile farm, paramedics said.

Rob Bredl, the owner of Bredl's Wild Farm in the northern Australian state of Queensland, was grabbed by a 4.5-metre-long crocodile during a feeding demonstration for tourists.

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"Paramedics were called in midday on Thursday after the attack by a crocodile. A patient in his mid-60s was air-lifted to local Mackay Hospital," a spokeswoman for the Queensland ambulance service said.

The crocodile tried to drag Bredl from the ground into the water but he was able to break free before it submerged him, she said.

"He has a significant hand and leg injury. He is in a serious but stable condition," she told dpa.

Fellow crocodile farm owner, John Lever, told Australian media that Bredl had worked with the reptiles his entire life.

"He's one of the last people I'd expect to be nailed by a crocodile, he's very experienced," Lever said. "Our hearts go out to him. It's the last thing you want to happen to anyone."

Lever said that crocodile attacks increase in spring when the animals become sexually active and territorial.

There have already been at least six crocodile attacks in northern Australia this year.