Crocodile once owned by Fidel Castro bites man’s arm at Swedish aquarium
A crocodile once owned by the late former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro chomped on a man’s arm at an aquarium in Stockholm, Sweden.
The incident happened at a traditional Swedish celebration known as a crayfish party that was held at Skansen Aquarium, reported CNN.
The ravenous reptile, named Castro according to Yahoo News, is one of two crocs (the other being named Hillary) that have resided at the aquarium since 1981.
The pair were gifted to the aquarium by the Moscow Zoo, which had originally gotten them from a Russian astronaut. The cosmonaut had received them as a gift from Castro himself back in 1978. The crocs have since had 11 children, enabling several specimens to be reintroduced to their ancestral homeland, according to CNN.
The man who was bit was in a restricted area and giving a speech to the assembled guests when he almost became part of the menu.
“He had his arm over the glass barrier, which is about two meters high,” Jonas Wahlström, owner of the Skansen Aquarium, told CNN. “One of the Cuban crocodiles saw it and came and just jumped up and grabbed his lower arm.”
The man was attending a private party at the aquarium, which is part of the zoo on the Stockholm island of Djurgården, according to the Swedish news site The Local.
Wahlström said he yelled to the man as he saw the crocodile approaching, but there was not enough time to react.
“What I saw was that he climbed up on a rock and was holding one of his arms over the glass barrier of the crocodile exhibit because he was going to give a speech,” Wahlström told The Local. “He turned his back, and the crocodile saw his hand coming down from his arm and just attacked him and bit him. Luckily the crocodile dropped him after maybe 10 seconds.”
Meanwhile, Wahlström is reviewing aquarium policy amid a police investigation.
“The Skansen Aquarium is taking further actions to prevent this from happening again,” the aquarium said in a statement obtained by CNN. “Our thoughts are with the man, and his family, who are affected by this very tragic accident.”