Ethiopian pastor killed by crocodile during lake baptism

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

Protestant pastor Docho Eshete had gathered along with at least 80 people on the shore of Lake Abaya in order to baptise them when a crocodile leapt out of the lake and grabbed him.

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

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

"He baptized the first person and he passed on to another one", a resident of nearby Arba Minch told the BBC. "All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor", resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC Amharic service.

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Ethiopian news outlet Borkena.com said members of the church were left devastated by the gruesome attack and reported it widely on social media.

The lake's reddish-brown waters make it hard to spot the animals until they surface, the Telegraph said.

Locals who tried to wrestle him from the crocodile were not able to do so, but succeeded in recovering his body.

The Crocodile Specialist Group estimates that Nile crocodiles are responsible for more than 300 attacks in Africa each year.

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