A pastor has reportedly been killed by a crocodile whilst carrying out a lakeside baptism in Ethiopia.
Docho Eshete was conducting a ceremony for 80 people when the reptile leapt up at him from the water on Sunday, according to African media.
The crocodile dragged the pastor into Lake Abaya – situated in the southern city of Arba Minch – as those with him watched on, the Ethiopian news site Borkena reported.
His body was later recovered from the water with bite marks on his back, legs and hands, according to local reports.
The crocodile was not captured.
Fishermen and those who attended the ceremony are said to have tried to save the pastor.
Ethiopia: Crocodile Kills Pastor Baptizing Followers Near A Lake In Arba. Lake Abaya which covers an area of 1,162 km² is known to have a huge Crocodile population.
Residents and fishermen made a huge effort to save the pastor’s life but were unsuccessful. #BIC97FM pic.twitter.com/WbJYG91cGk
— Radiocity 97FM (@97fmRadiocity) June 6, 2018
Police officer Eiwnetu Kanko told local reporters that they used fishing nets to stop the crocodile from taking the pastor’s body further into the water.
Shimelis Zenebe, director general of the Abaya National Park, told local radio station Sheger that crocodiles have started preying on animals on the edge of the lake.
He said this is because of decreasing fish populations.
Lake Abaya, Ethiopia’s second largest lake, covers an area of 1,162 square kilometres and is known to have a large population of crocodiles.
The Lonely Planet Travel guide states: “Its peculiar reddish-brown waters are a result of elevated natural concentrations of suspended sediments, and it has a large population of crocodiles, which are said to be aggressive towards people and animals because the lake has few fish, their preferred food.”