Abidjan – Spectacle for holiday revellers turned tragic as crocodiles swooped on a 70-year- old man and tore him into shreds in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire.
Ivorian local newspaper, Info Soir, said the septuagenarian, Dicko Toke, had been the handler of the crocodiles for many years, until tragedy struck.
Toke regularly entertained guests, both local and international, by moving around the crocodiles and lifting their tails for memorial photos.
According to the newspaper, Toke had gone into the lake to feed the crocodiles and alligators at 5 p.m. on Monday, when one of the crocodiles held his long shirt.
“The old man, according to the eyewitnesses, waved the crocodile aside, but the biggest and oldest among the crocodiles, known as “Prime Minister’’, opened its mouth and seized him.
“The animal threw him into the water and started tearing him into shreds to the consternation of the many guests by the lake, who were enjoying the end of Ramadan,” said the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the local media said that the Prefect of the Region, Andre Epkonon, had announced Toke’s death.
The crocodile lakes, situated behind the presidential villa of the late Ivorian President Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Yamoussoukro is a tourist attraction.