A visitor’s fun trip to an amusement park in the Philippines turned into a horrifying one after he was attacked by a crocodile. Now, a video of the attack has surfaced online, igniting a major debate about safety measures and protocols at the park.
Nehemias Chipada got into the reptile’s enclosure at Amaya View theme park in Cagayan de Oro on his birthday to click a photo. The sexagenarian thought the crocodile was a replica, prompting him to climb a few feet down to the enclosure to get close to the motionless ‘statue’ and pat its head, Newsweek reported.
A video circulating on Facebook, weeks after the incident, showed Chipada wading into the shallow pond where the 12-foot crocodile was resting and, within moments of touching it, the ferocious animal locks its jaws on the man’s left arm. Luckily, the man was able to quickly jump out of the water.
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Watch the moment here:
The video shows the man screaming in terror and moving away even as blood is seen oozing out of his left hand. His right hand was also injured. He later winces in pain as family members and staff rush to help him.
His daughter Mercy Joy Chipada told Inquirer.net that her father was recuperating at the Northern Mindanao Medical Centre after a surgery on his left arm. She said a nurse at the amusement park administered first aid to Chipada before he was rushed to the hospital.
Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that while the family of the victim was initially upset, they decided not to “press any charges” against the management after both parties came to an understanding. “Our concern is for our father to be taken care of. That’s what we are after. He is now recovering from the surgery,” she said.
In a statement, the management of Amaya View said it has extended financial assistance for the medical expenses of the victim. “Our company nurse responded immediately; she administered first-aid as he (Chipada) was rushed to the nearest hospital,” it said. Informing that he is still at the hospital after the surgery, it added that the man was “recovering in a suite room.”
The company added that it remains committed to settling all of Chipada’s medical bills until he fully recuperates. “We hope and pray for his fast and complete recovery.”
The resort also said it condemns the dissemination of false information on social media about the incident and appealed to the public to refrain from posting any derogatory statement against the patient and his family.
“As a family-oriented resort, Amaya View takes the responsibility of ensuring our guests’ safety with paramount importance and we will continue to be dedicated to our vision and mission of providing safe, fun, and educational attractions and adventures for everyone,” the resort’s statement said.
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In an interview given to a local TV, Candy Unabia, Amaya View chief operating officer, said the management had not been careless and assured that its facilities are safe even for children as schools have conducted tours for their students inside the adventure park before the pandemic.
“This is the first time that such an accident happened,” Guibone said, adding that they did not expect the incident as the crocodile’s pit was fenced and had warning signs.