Odishatv Bureau

In an exemplary display of courage, a minor boy, Om Prakash in Araji village under Kendrapara's Pattamundai block, fought off a crocodile while the latter attacked him when he was bathing. Prakash  survived the reptile attack by dint of his valour.

As per reports, Om Prakash was bathing with his friends in Kani river near his village when a giant 10-ft long salt water crocodile pulled him into the river. However, the 14-year-old lad did not give up and fought off the reptile to emerge victorious after a 10 minute battle in the river.

The fight left the boy seriously injured as the crocodile bit him in several places of his body before leaving him alone. His friends rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was administered preliminary treatment and later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

An eyewitness to the incident, Sanatan Dandapat, said, "We were bathing in the river when I saw a giant crocodile coming at Om Prakash, I shouted to alert him, but it was too late."

"The reptile got hold of him and pulled him into the river. When it started the 'Death Roll', we threw ropes and towels at him to rescue, but he was too far away. However, to our surprise, Om Prakash fought with it by kicking and punching it and got himself out of its clutches," Dandapat added.

"After he reached the bank, we took him directly to the hospital. he was bitten badly by the crocodile in several places in his body. The doctor here referred him to Cuttack and we rushed him to SCB for treatment," he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Kendrapara district, crisscrossed by rivers, creeks and water inlets, is considered the only district in India where three species of crocodiles-- salt-water, gharial and mugger-- are found inhabiting in its river systems.

As per official data, a total of 26 people have lost their lives in the human-crocodile interaction over past 12 years while three lost their lives in the attack over last three months only.