A Protestant pastor was killed by a crocodile while performing a baptism ceremony in Ethiopia’s Lake Abaya on June 3.
Pastor Dochio Eshete and about 80 members of his congregation were gathered on the shore of Lake Abaya for a traditional Christian baptism ceremony
During the ceremony the baptismal candidate and the pastor stood in waist-deep water and the pastor then proceeded to immerse the candidate fully.
According to witnesses, Eshete was in the middle of the ceremony when a crocodile burst from the water and grabbed him.
“He baptized the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC.
Police Officer Eiwnetu Kano told The Telegraph that fishermen and members of the pastor’s congregation tried to rescue the pastor, using fishing nets to entangle his body and pull it free.
The efforts helped to stop the croc from dragging the clergyman into deeper water.
But by the time his rescuers managed to get Eshete back to shore, Eshete had died from bites to his back, legs, and hands.
“They only managed to get his dead body,” officer Kano told The Telegraph.
“They were unable to save him.”
Pastor Eshete presided over a church in the Merkeb Tabya district of the town of Arba Minch on the southern end of Lake Abaya. The lake, second largest in Ethiopia, is known to have a large population of crocodiles.
A woman from Zimbabwe, Zanele Ndlovu-Fox, was canoeing with her fiancé five days before their late-May wedding when a crocodile leapt up and grabbed her arm.
Her fiancé was able to extricate her from the jaws of the beast, but her the remnants of her arm had to be amputated.
Two days after the operation, she was married as scheduled in a ceremony in the hospital’s chapel.