June 5 (UPI) — A crocodile killed a pastor during an 80-person baptism ceremony at a lake in southern Ethiopia.
The crocodile leaped from the water and attacked protestant pastor Docho Eshete during the Sunday baptism ceremony on the shores of Lake Abaya, residents and police told the BBC. He died after the crocodile bit his legs, back and hands.
“He baptized the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC.
Fishermen attempted to rescue Docho, but they only managed to prevent the crocodile from taking his body with fishing nets. The crocodile got away.
It is likely that the crocodile that killed Docho was a Nile crocodile, the Independent reported. Nile crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh more than 2,200 pounds.
The Crocodile Specialist Group estimates that Nile crocodiles are responsible for more than 300 attacks in Africa each year.
Lake Abaya, Ethiopia’s second-largest lake, is infested with aggressive crocodiles, according to the Lonely Planet travel guide.