Shitu Mallick, a 12-year-old boy from a remote village of Odisha’s Kendrapara district displayed the exemplary courage to save his 26-year-old uncle from a crocodile.
The survivor, Binod Mallick, an inland fisherman from Kandira village, is undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital in Rajnagar. He recalled the harrowing experience and thanked his nephew, Shitu, for surviving the crocodile attack.
Binod and Shitu had gone to a creek-side field to relieve themselves when the incident took place. As they got in the creek, a crocodile leaped from the water and attacked Binod all of a sudden. On seeing this, Shitu immediately started trying to disorient the animal by directing torchlight at it. In the process, the child picked up a bamboo stick and dealt a blow on the animal’s head. The reptile, which had clung on to Binod, was jolted by the sudden attack and left the man to slip into the water.
“I acted on the spur of the moment. I had almost accepted the fact that the reptile would kill my uncle. In fact, the torchlight helped me distract the crocodile. Then I mustered the courage to confront it,” said Shitu, whose act of bravery has won the appreciation from local residents.
The state forest department is bearing the cost of Binod’s treatment. Besides, according to revised rules the department would also award compensation to Binod’s family, said Rajnagar mangrove (wildlife) divisional forest officer Bimal Prasanna Acharya.
Forest personnel, however, feel people are exposing themselves to crocodile attacks by venturing into the reptiel-infested water bodies.
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