Crocodile ‘saw lunch’ and attacked British backpacker, 18, as she dipped leg in water

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A British teenager was nearly killed by a crocodile when her friend came to her rescue by “furiously” punching an underwater reptile.

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Emily Osborne-Smith, 18, was rafting in the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls in Zambia during her gap-year adventures.

After submerging the canoe’s side of the water, the crocodile bit his leg with its powerful jaws, and threw him to death in an attempt to drown him.


Her male friend jumped into the water and repeatedly hit the animal to release her.

a source told Sun: “As soon as this happened he dived under the water and started punching the crocodile fiercely.

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“Then others came forward to help. It was anarchy. There was blood everywhere and people were in agony. She’s lucky she’s alive… She was in pretty bad shape. He fixed it as best he could and arranged for an emergency med-vac. ,

Emily, who is from Hampshire and went to school in Winchester, was taken to a hospital in the Zambian capital Lusaka for surgery to save her life and limb.

Her father, Brent Osborne-Smith, said she has had “multiple surgeries” and is now in stable condition.

The medic and former Army reservist told the newspaper: “He has been operated on several times in the country, but he needs to receive advanced, definitive care in the UK as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Osborne-Smith said he submerged his foot in the water after being told by guides that the area was protected from crocodiles.

She told reporters: “She wasn’t really swimming, but was just sitting on the boat and the crocodile saw her leg swinging in the water and thought: ‘Lunch is done’.”

Emily’s leg is “severely damaged” but has been “immobilized”, Mr Osborne-Smith said. He also said the situation is “still very touch and go” because there is “a great risk of infection”.

Zambia is on the UK’s travel red list – due to the emergence of the Kovid omicron variant in southern Africa – so it is more complicated to bring it home, they have also said.

Amelie’s mother, German Baroness Veronica von Pfeten-Arnbach, has said her daughter will be “hopefully” taken back to the UK sometime this week after being discharged from hospital in Zambia.

It is reported that Emily was with Bundu Rafting, a company based in Livingstone, Zambia, since 1996.

It is believed to have been attacked by the Nile crocodile, the largest and most common crocodile in sub-Saharan Africa.

It is known that this species has attacked hundreds of people a year, but this number may be in the thousands as many incidents have not been reported.

The Nile crocodile, the second largest after the saltwater crocodile, kills more people despite being smaller than average. It is believed that this may be because it lives and lurks close to humans.


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