Crocodile Kills 29-Year-Old Golfer at S. Africa’s Lake Panic

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A crocodile attacked and killed a 29-year-old golfer yesterday at Lake Panic in eastern South Africa at the Kruger National Park, the country’s national parks operator said.

Jacques van der Sandt was grabbed by the reptile at about 10 p.m. at Skukuza Golf Course, South African National Parks said in an e-mailed statement today. His body was found more than two hours later with teeth marks and the crocodile was shot by rangers.

“It’s an unfortunate incident where a promising life was cut short; our condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim,” Kruger’s general manager of conservation Freek Venter said in the statement. “Investigations are on-going to establish the exact circumstances as it was an unnatural death.”

The Lowvelder newspaper earlier cited a police spokesman saying that van der Sandt had been at the club house at the course after playing golf and had jumped into the lake several times. The crocodile was 3.9 meters (13 feet) long, it said.

Van der Sandt had been waist deep in the water searching for golf balls, the Associated Press reported, citing Oubaas Coetzer, a police officer.

“The animal was doing what naturally comes to them; hunting for food and unfortunately a life was lost in the process,” a SANParks ecologist, Danny Govender, said in the SANParks statement.

“There is a resident croc in the dam that feeds off the fat barbel in the water,” Kruger Park says on its website, referring to a type of catfish.

About 280 people have been attacked worldwide by crocodiles this year, according to CrocBITE, a website that tallies global crocodile attacks.

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