A FISHERMAN narrowly escaped with his life when he was mauled by FOUR crocodiles and dragged underwater in a “death roll”.
Alexander Chimedza had one beast’s jaws clamped on each limb but was saved after a 40-minute struggle as his pals rained down stones from the bank.
Alexander was set upon in January while looking for worms to use as bait to catch a fish dinner for his family in Kariba, Zimbabwe.
He told the Herald newspaper: “The crocodiles must have been waiting for me because the moment I just touched the weeds, I was attacked.
“First, one of them tried to grab my left hand, but I instinctively dodged, but another one grabbed my right hand.”
Alexander was pulled into the murky water, where one of the crocodiles tried to kill him in the notorious “death roll” manoeuvre by spinning him six times.
“I realised that my hand would break if I resisted,” he said.
“So, I allowed my hand to go in the direction it turned.”
His plight only got worse when a third crocodile latched onto his thigh, and a fourth croc joined in the feeding frenzy by biting through his ankle.
Meanwhile pals and passersby lobbed rocks at the predators.
Alexander was finally able to get one hand free and shoved it down a croc’s throat to make it to let him go.
Crocodiles have an organ called the palatal valve, which stops water from pouring into their stomachs when they swim.
Experts say it can be an effective last resort to make a crocodile let go if you can’t reach its eyes.
Alexander said: “As I thrust my hand into the crocodile’s mouth some of the stones that were being thrown from the outside must have hit the crocodile.
“That, coupled with the large volumes of water that flowed into its mouth, must have led to its death because it let me go and I saw it seeming lifeless afterward.”
He was then able to grab a long stick offered by his friends who pulled to the shore soaked in blood and flagged down an ambulance.
He spent 40 days in hospital and had four operations including skin grafts, metal plates in crushed bones, and reconstructive surgery to rebuild his snapped Achilles tendon.
And he will need months more nursing at home by his wife Primrose.
She said he had ignored a “prophecy” warning him against visiting the ponds where he was attacked.
“My wife has been behind me 100 per cent and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be able to survive,” Alexander said.
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