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from Ananova


Water buffalo gores man in remote Australian wilderness

Story filed: 09:46 Tuesday 4th December 2001

A man's crawled almost a mile for help after being gored by a water buffalo in the remote Australian wilderness of Arnhem Land, according to police.

The 40-year-old man was riding a bicycle home from a yacht club when he struck the beast, police senior Sgt Steve Bradley added.

The man, whose name was not released, was taken to a nearby hospital before being airlifted to the Royal Darwin Hospital for surgery on a broken leg. The incident happened in the bauxite mining town of Nhulunbuy.

"It proceeded to gore him in the legs, chest and arms," Sgt Bradley said. "He crawled about one kilometre to the mine site conveyor belt where he was picked up by one of the mine workers."

"It's nothing life threatening. He was sitting up laughing and talking before he left," Sgt Bradley said.

The cyclist apparently had not seen the water buffalo on the road in the dark and hit the animal, he added.

Nhulunbuy pest controller David Suitor said the animal probably gored the cyclist because it had been startled. He added the accident happened near where a jogger was chased by a water buffalo last year.

Two cars were also wrecked after hitting a water buffalo on the same road, and a man was gored to death four years ago in Nhulunbuy when he walked into one on his way home from a party.

The water buffalo was first brought to Australia from Indonesia in the 1820s for meat. Its introduction was a major environmental disaster in the tropical wetlands of northern Australia, where its wallowing devastates native flora.

A major culling operation has reduced their numbers, but they are still common in the region.

Copyright 2001 Ananova Ltd

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