A man is recovering from a harrowing crocodile attack in Australia. According to local news reports, the croc bit Marcus McGowan on the head in Queensland while he was snorkeling with his wife and friends over the weekend. Thankfully, McGowan managed to free himself.
“I was able to lever its jaws open just far enough to get my head out,” he told NBC News. “The crocodile then attempted to attack me a second time, but I managed to push it away with my right hand, which was then bitten by the croc.”
McGowan again managed to extricate himself. He was flown by chopper to a nearby hospital to be treated for cuts on his scalp and punctures to his head and hand. McGowan believes the crocodile was a juvenile.
The area where the attack occurred hosts a recovering population of crocodiles that is considered vulnerable due to poaching in the past. According to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, there have been 44 crocodile attacks in the state since 1985. The last fatal attack in Queensland occurred in February 2021.
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Crocodiles are found in saltwater and freshwater in the area. The predators can hold their breath underwater for more than an hour and can completely conceal themselves in ambush mode in knee-deep water. Saltwater crocodiles are considered to have one of the strongest bites in the world—and can unleash up to 3,700 PSI of pressure with their jaws.