Australia

Australia golfer bitten by crocodile

File photo: A 4.5m (13.5 ft) saltwater crocodile in Australia's Northern Territory, 15 October 2005 Image copyright AP
Image caption Crocodiles are common in northern Australia and their numbers have increased

A golfer has suffered leg injuries after being bitten by a crocodile on an Australian golf course.

John Lahiff, 75, told local media that he disturbed the crocodile while looking for a ball in water at the course in Port Douglas, Queensland.

He was taken to hospital with a deep laceration to his shin and puncture wounds to his calf, but said he would not be put off playing golf.

He told ABC News he would try not to hit balls into the water in future.

Crocodiles are a common sight on the golf course, Australian media reported, and signs warn players of the dangers.

Police Senior Sergeant James Coate told ABC that the 1.2m (4ft) saltwater crocodile had been in a waterway on the 11th hole

Mr Lahiff, speaking from Cairns Hospital, said he had seen crocodiles there before and "should have realised to be a bit more aware".

"I didn't see the croc sunbaking just on the edge of the water. I walked past it and then it got me on the way back and as soon as it grabbed me it took off into the water."

He manage to drive himself back to the club house to get help.

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Media captionJohn Lahiff said he didn't notice the crocodile as he went to find his ball

The Australian newspaper reported that wildlife officers would try to remove the crocodile and relocate it to a crocodile farm or a zoo.

But Mr Lahiff told ABC he wanted the croc to stay where it was. "I think he got more of a fright than me. He's alright," he said.

The Palmer Sea Reef golf course is owned by Australian billionaire and politician Clive Palmer.

After the incident he tweeted that he wished the golfer a speedy recovery.

He joked: "Crocodile has been removed from all menus at Palmer properties following today's incident."

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

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