Mark Montgomery is a 52-year-old South African safari guide with years of experience leading challenging hikes through the Kruger National Park. However, his latest trek proved to be his most harrowing yet when a 12-foot Nile crocodile attacked him as he was collecting water for his group’s kettle. Despite the danger and shock of the situation, Montgomery’s experience and training allowed him to fight back and survive.
Montgomery was leading a group of hikers on the 400-mile-long Kruger Trail when the attack occurred. The crocodile lunged out of the River Metsi and clamped its massive jaws onto his hand, dragging him into the murky water. Montgomery managed to grip the crocodile’s neck and tried to poke its eyes and force open its mouth. He also used his right leg to turn with the rolling reptile, which prompted the creature to release its grip.
Miraculously, Montgomery emerged from the water and made it to the safety of the riverbank. However, he still needed immediate medical care for his severely injured hand.
Quick-thinking first aiders in the camp attended Montgomery, and he was then transported to a nearby hospital where he underwent three surgeries to repair the fractures and close the numerous teeth marks. Despite his injuries, Montgomery remains optimistic about regaining full use of his hand and expressed his gratitude for not having suffered any life-threatening injuries.
Montgomery’s survival story is a testament to his determination and presence of mind in the face of danger. He acknowledges the crocodile’s incredible strength and says that he would not have made it out alive without his years of experience and training. He remains passionate about his work as a safari guide but vows to be more vigilant around water in the future.
Montgomery’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for the countless visitors who flock to the Kruger National Park each year to witness the awe-inspiring wildlife. While such attacks are rare, they highlight the need for increased vigilance and education about the park’s inhabitants. It is essential to remember the vital role that experienced and trained guides like Montgomery play in safeguarding both the park’s wildlife and its visitors.
Montgomery’s story remains an unforgettable reminder of the power and unpredictability of nature, and the courage and dedication of those who devote their lives to its protection. Despite his ordeal, Montgomery continues to be passionate about his work and hopes to inspire others to respect the wild animals that call Kruger National Park home.