Crocodile kills vicar during mass baptism in Ethiopia

A crocodile killed a pastor during water baptisms in a lake in southern Ethiopia Sunday

The pastor, Docho Eshete, was conducting the ceremony for almost 80 people on Sunday near Lake Abaya in Merkeb Tabya district, BBC reported.

The predator struck on Sunday morning as Docho Eshete was conducting the ceremony at Lake Abaya in Ethiopia's Merkeb Tabya district.

Others at the scene tried to help him, and managed to fend off the crocodile, but the pastor died from the wounds to his legs, back and hands.

Despite their efforts to block the crocodile with their nets, by the time they reached Mr Eshetem he was already dead.

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Reports say it was likely a Nile crocodile that killed the pastor, as the species is thought to be responsible for more than 300 attacks on humans every year in Africa.

Local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC: "He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one". Residents and police told BBC Amharic a crocodile leapt from the water during the baptism and attacked him.

Lake Abaya, Ethiopia's second-largest lake, is infested with aggressive crocodiles, according to the Lonely Planet travel guide.

While hardly an everyday occurrence, crocodile attacks are a known risk in Ethiopia - as in any region where they thrive.

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