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'Monster' crocodile severs head of 10-year-old girl in Philippines

March 12, 2009 | 11:21 am

The late 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin and his wife, Terri, struggle with a 12-foot crocodile in 2002.

Life sometimes takes an abrupt turn for the worse, and Outposts journeys to the Philippines for a sad and vivid example.

A 10-year-old girl paddling with a classmate to their floating school was decapitated by a crocodile after the creature capsized their canoe.

Both were en route to school on Agusan del Sur province's Mihaba Lake when a 23-foot crocodile bumped and flipped the boat, police said.

This happened Saturday but rescuers found the girl's headless body floating on the lake Tuesday.

The classmate had been rescued by a man escorting the pair in another boat. The attack prompted temporary closure of the school and the evacuation of local residents, according to the Associated Press story.

I've heard about crocodiles becoming aggressive and recall an incident years ago in Costa Rica, when a fisherman was attacked and actually consumed by a giant crocodile that struck after the angler dived into a river to free a snagged fishing line.

A Red Cross official said afterward: "People tried to help him, but every time they got close the crocodile went mad and they had to run for their lives."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: The late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and his wife, Terri, struggle with a 12-foot crocodile in 2002. Credit: Greg Barrett