Tipsy Australian fights off crocodile with eye-poke

A large saltwater crocodile shows aggression. File photo Crocodile numbers have increased in Australia since being declared a protected species in 1971

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An Australian hunter says he has survived a crocodile attack - by poking the reptile in the eye.

Stephen Moreen, 20, said he waded into water in the Northern Territory to retrieve a goose he had shot when the crocodile grabbed and pulled him under.

When the hunter jabbed the 2m-long (6ft 6in) animal in the eye, it let him go.

The hunter's cousin then shot the reptile. Mr Moreen admitted he had been "a little bit tipsy" at the time.

He said he drank some more beer to numb the pain from minor injuries as he waited for an ambulance.

"I have a scratch on my back, the rest (is) on my arm. He (the crocodile) ripped out a bit of skin and left me with two to three holes," he was quoted as saying by Australia's ABC broadcaster.

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The incident happened on Friday evening in Peppimenarti, about 320km (198 miles) south-west of Darwin.

Last month, a fisherman was killed by a giant saltwater crocodile as he waded into the Adelaide River, south of Darwin.

Crocodile numbers have increased since being declared a protected species in 1971. They are a common feature of Australia's tropical north.

The Australian government rejected a controversial plan to allow crocodile safari hunting in the Northern Territory in March.

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