(The Sun) – An elderly man had part of his testicles bitten off by a crocodile during a horrific attack in Zimbabwe.
Jonah Maturure, 70, fought the reptile with his bare hands after it grabbed him between its jaws as he tried to cross a river.
The dad-of-four said he felt lucky to be alive after surviving the terrifying attack in the southern district of Gutu.
Mr Maturare told how he bravely jammed his hand into the crocodile’s mouth after the beast started to maul his manhood.
He said: “I was not suspecting anything. I had earlier on crossed the river using the same crossing place.
“But when I was almost in the middle of the river I was attacked by a crocodile.
“It mauled a chunk of my buttocks before attacking my manhood, tearing my testicles into shreds.
“The skin covering my manhood was partly torn but I quickly put my thumb in its mouth to try and choke it after realising that I was going to lose my manhood.
“It then grabbed my hand and I could hear my bones cracking making some cacophony noise at the slightest bite.”
Mr Maturara said he had been carrying a box of tomatoes across the river when the crocodile attacked.
He added that he believed the fruits had saved his life as the beast was briefly distracted when he dropped the box amid the struggle.
The frightened pensioner used the reptile’s confusion to make a dash for safety and managed to haul himself onto the river bank, covered in blood.
He said: “Realising that I was losing the battle, I let go of the box of tomatoes that I was carrying on my head and it fell into the river with a thud making some kind of noise.
“At that instant the crocodile released its grip on my hand and ran towards the noise.
“It probably thought I had fallen into the river and I escaped in pain, with blood flowing down my legs from the wounds where the chunks of flesh had been incised.”
Mr Maturure was rushed to hospital following the attack, which happened late last month in Zimbabwe’s Chivake river.
He was last week recovering on a ward at the United Bulawayo Hospitals in Bulawayo.
The relieved pensioner said he had removed his trousers before entering the river, where the waters had swelled following days of heavy rain.
He said he left his money and documents in his trousers on the river bank before wading across the chest-deep water in his underwear.
Mr Maturure, who lives near the scene of the attack, said his pants and t-shirt were torn off him during the attack.
By the time he escaped he was totally naked and bleeding profusely from the wounds on his manhood.
He sought help from a local house before being rushed to a local clinic for first aid.
He was later transferred to the Bulawayo hospital, where he remained under observation in a stable condition.
The mauling was reported to be the latest in a string of crocodile attacks in the Gutu area, some of which had caused human deaths.
The massive man-eating reptiles live in fresh water across many parts of Africa and are famously ferocious hunters.
They often lurk unseen beneath the surface of a river or lake and strike their prey without warning.