Taiwan, April 11, 2007—Armed and dangerous, a Nile crocodile prowls the Kaohsiung zoo. Veterinarian Chang Po-yu was reaching through iron bars to remove tranquilizer darts before treating the 440-pound (200-kilogram) reptile when the inadequately sedated animal bit the vet’s forearm off….
But for the vet, it wasn’t quite a farewell to arm.
After being shot at twice, but apparently unhit, the croc dropped the arm. After seven hours of surgery, doctors successfully reattached the appendage, shown at bottom on a smiling Chang on April 12.
The largest African crocodile species, the Nile croc may be threatened in some parts of its range, according to the World Conservation Union. The reptiles can reach 16 feet (5 meters) in length and are estimated to kill 200 people a year.