Crocodile ‘kills pastor’ as he baptises followers on lake in Ethiopia

Crocodile ‘kills pastor’ as he baptises followers on lake in Ethiopia

Reptile reportedly leapt from the water and grabbed Pastor Docho Eshete as he moved on to the second person in a mass baptism of 80 followers

A Nile crocodile is thought to have grabbed Pastor Docho Eshete as he baptised memmbers of his congregation in the waters of Lake Abaya in Ethiopia ( AFP/Getty Images )

(independent)—A lakeside baptism ceremony ended in disaster when a large crocodile leapt from the water and killed the pastor, it has been reported.

Docho Eshete was allegedly grabbed by the crocodile soon after he started a mass baptism for 80 people on the shores of Lake Abaya in southern Ethiopia.

“He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC. “All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor.”

Pastor Docho was said to have been bitten on his legs, back and hands.

As his horrified congregation looked on, local fishermen reportedly struggled to rescue him.  It was said they succeeded only in using their nets to prevent the crocodile from taking the 45-year-old’s body into the lake, near the city of Arba Minch.

The crocodile is understood to have escaped.

Lake Abaya, Ethiopia’s second largest lake, is said to be beautiful, but the Lonely Planet travel guide states: “It has a large population of crocodiles, which are said to be aggressive towards people and animals because the lake has few fish, their preferred food.”

It is likely that the reptile that killed Pastor Docho was a Nile Crocodile.  Some Nile Crocodiles can grow to be up to six metres (20ft) long, and some estimates suggest the species is responsible for more than 300 attacks on humans in Africa every year.