A Scottish father is recovering in hospital after being attacked by a crocodile in Mexico while playing golf with friends.
Dougie Thomson stepped into a bunker to take a shot when the 12ft reptile sprang from nearby undergrowth and clamped down on his leg.
It was only after friends beat the animal with golf clubs and drove over it in a golf buggy that it released its grip, allowing Mr Thomson to be pulled to safety.
The 58-year-old, originally from Wishaw, near Glasgow, said he needed 200 stitches after the crocodile tore through muscle in his thigh and hip.
“I couldn’t feel pain, I was in shock,” he said. “It was like a big toy, big black eyes looking at me. Hitting it was like hitting a brick wall. The crocodile tore away all the muscle in my thigh. My leg is like a butcher’s shop window.
“Initially, only two of us were going golfing. If that had happened, there is no way one friend could have helped. It would have pulled me into the lagoon and had me for supper.”
The incident happened last Friday when Mr Thomson hit his ball into a bunker area at the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club.
He said: “I was 10 to 15ft from thick shrubbery. I didn’t even know there was water behind the bushes. Then I heard this noise behind me, and the next thing I knew this huge crocodile snapped me by the thigh and was pulling me back.”
He shouted for help from Brendan O’Hara, who alerted their other friends, Gordon Victory and Martin Botwright. Mr O’Hara tried to pull Mr Thomson out of the crocodile’s jaws but its grip held.
Mr O’Hara grabbed a club and began to beat the animal, as the two other men drove into the crocodile with the golf cart. He added: “The crocodile started to turn on its belly so it could twist me. My friend hit it with the cart again and it opened its mouth a bit. They pulled me back but it snapped again and grabbed my hip a bit higher up.
“Then it just stopped, suddenly, as we got further from the water. When they eventually pulled me away, it started attacking the golf cart.”
Mr Thomson, who now lives in Toronto, was in Mexico for a wedding and wanted to fit in some golf. Players had been warned about the possibity of crocodiles but were not put off.
He said: “Even after the attack, other people on the course had no idea. They were still playing golf. You’d have thought there would have been at least a policeman but there was no-one. When my friend went back, the cart was still in the bush and the crocodile was there, waiting.”
Yesterday, his brother, Bob Thomson, said: “We’d like to get Douglas back to Canada. He’s stable, but we’re worried about infections that can get into his wounds. We’re hoping that he’ll be able to continue working and playing golf but we don’t know.”