A hunter walked 50 miles through the bush in far north Queensland carrying his injured dog Choco, after a crocodile attacked the arab/greyhound mix.
The pair was hunting along the remote Mitchell River, which lies more than 186 miles northwest of Cairns.
Choco was pursuing a wild pig along the river’s edge, when an estuarine crocodile lunged out of the water and latched on to him from behind.
“It went for the dog and just got him by the arse end, picked him up and just shook him and then went under water, that was all that I saw of him. About two minutes later, (Choco) pops up again and I didn’t see the croc, and he swam back in (to land). I just grabbed him out of the water and threw him up on the bank there. I had to take him back to camp, splinted him up and fixed a few holes in him, in his belly and stuff like that,” said Wayne Best, Choco’s owner.
His car was parked far away, so Best carried Choco for two days until he reached a major road. A passing motorist saw them and gave them a lift to Chillagoe. Best then walked for another 11 miles before a friend, who happened to be passing by, picked them up.
They finally reached a veterinary hospital in Mareeba, and Choco underwent emergency surgery to mend his broken leg. Best, who works as a seasonal fruit picker, wondered how he would pay for the AU$2,300 veterinary bill.
“He’s my best friend to me in the whole world. Money means nothing to me. I just want him better. I walked a long way for him, but I would have walked a million and one miles for him if need be,” said Best.
After his story ran in the local newspaper, hundreds of people donated money to help with the cost of Choco’s surgery.
Thanks to Best’s dedication and the kindness of strangers, Choco is now well on his way to full recovery!
All images: The Cairns Post