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Kayakers caught moment their friend was ambushed and killed by 'man-eater' crocodile on camera
Featured Image Credit: National Geographic

Kayakers caught moment their friend was ambushed and killed by 'man-eater' crocodile on camera

The three of them had been kayaking together in a close knit group when the crocodile attacked

Two men ended up catching the moment that their friend was taken by a crocodile while they were all kayaking together.

Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesberry had been kayaking down the Lukuga River in Congo when their companion Hendri Coetzee was pulled from his boat by a 15ft crocodile.

His body has never been recovered.

At the time Korbulic described how the enormous reptile had emerged from the water and attacked his companion.

He said: “I glanced over and just in my periphery I saw the crocodile come out of the water, and he got onto Hendri's left side - just the left shoulder with its mouth.”

The three had been keeping together during their trip to avoid attacks from hippos and crocodiles. They had only been around five feet apart when the reptile attacked.

Korbulic told the Associated Press back in 2010: “The crocodile just pulled him right underwater. I think we both were just in complete shock and disbelief, and absolutely horrified at what had just happened."

Two kayakers caught the horrific moment their friend was eaten by an enormous crocodile on camera.
National Geographic

All three of them were experienced kayakers. Korbulic and Stookesberry had set off with Coetzee to become the first people to boat the whitewater on the Lukuga River.

At the moment of the attack the group had been kayaking down a segment where the water was around 100 feet wide. Coetzee was in the centre, while Stookesberry was at the front and Korbulic just behind him.

However, Coetzee's boat was capsized when the crocodile attacked. Stookesberry and Korbulic could only look on in horror as it shook for around 20 seconds as the reptile dragged Coetzee from the cockpit.

The pair came to the awful realisation that there was nothing they could do to help. Fearing that the crocodile would come back, they paddled downstream to a nearby village.

There, the residents told them that the reptile had likely been around '15 feet long and two tonnes in weight'.

They had only encountered smaller reptiles prior to the attack.
Smithsonian's National Zoo

Not long after the attack, the boat was recovered from the river by the residents, and it didn't have even a mark on it to indicate what had happened.

The story of Coetzee's death was recounted in a documentary by National Geographic, Man-Eater of The Congo. The documentary included footage of the attack, though the exact moment that the crocodile attacked Coetzee is not included.

When they arrived at a nearby village a visibly shaken Korbulic and Stookesberry radioed for help. Stookesberry said: “This is Ben, can you hear me? We’ve had a terrible accident here. Hendri just got taken by a crocodile.”

Topics: News, World News, Animals