From crocodile to leopard: Former cricketer rescued from big cat’s jaws by Chikara


A former top class cricketer has cheated death again after being attacked by leopard – years after he woke to find an eight foot long crocodile hiding under his bed.

Guy Whittall, 51, needed emergency surgery after being badly mauled by the big cat while out with his trusted dog Chikara, who was also bitten as he tired to save him.

Guy – best remembered for his unbeaten 1997 double century of 203 not out against New Zealand – was attacked while trekking through the conservancy he runs at Humani, Zimbabwe.

He runs the safari business – based at the junction of the Turgwe and Save rivers in the south-east of the country – with his father and where he woke one morning to find a sleeping crocodile under his bed.

Guy’s wife posted dramatic images of the latest attack on social media, showing Guy being treated in the bush by medics with bandages on his head, before he was airlifted to Milton Park Hospital in the capital Harare.

Guy previously woke one morning to find a sleeping crocodile under his bed.

Hannah Stooks-Whittall added he had ‘lost a lot of blood’ but was saved by ‘faithful K9 Chikara’ who ‘was mauled by the leopard getting the cat of Guy’.

A later picture showed Guy in hospital giving a thumbs up with his head and hands still bandaged and Hannah wrote he had ‘come out of theatre’ with his wounds ‘cleaned and restitched’.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Hannah said: ‘He really is one lucky man, first he had the crocodile and now the leopard, he really is the cat with nine lives.

‘He was so fortunate that Chikara was there to help him and get the leopard off him otherwise who knows how it might have ended.

‘We are so grateful to him, and Chikara going to get some extra chicken as a treat. He’s got to see the vet as he has a few scratches and but he should be ok, he’s in better shape than Guy.

‘Fortunately, Guy is up in bed and talking, he’s telling anyone who will listen how he wrestled with a leopard but we all know it was down to Chikara.’

It is not the first time that Guy has had a brush with a wild animal – in 2013 he hit the headlines after pictures emerged of a 300lbs crocodile sleeping under his bed, while he was still in it.

The eight foot animal had sneaked into his lodge and spent the entire night lying quietly, just fractions beneath an oblivious Guy.

The beast – a Nile crocodile – had managed to stay hidden for more than eight hours overnight.

The following morning Guy had even perched on the edge of his bed, with his feet dangling over the edge, just inches from the crocodile’s face, as he organised his day.

But he remained oblivious to his uninvited guest and was only alerted when he was enjoying some breakfast in the kitchen and heard the petrified screams of a housemaid.

At the time he said: “The really disconcerting thing about the whole episode is the fact that I was sitting on the edge of the bed that morning, bare foot and just centimetres away from the croc.

“Crocodiles are experts at hiding, that’s why they have survived on Earth for so long and why they are the ultimate killers in water.

“They know how to keep quiet and go unnoticed, it’s in their nature.

“The crocodile came from the Turgwe River which is a couple of kilometres from the house.

“They often wander about the bush especially when it’s cold and raining. I think he liked it under the bed because it was warm.”

He was forced to call in some of his co-workers who helped remove the crocodile from its new lair and release him back into a nearby dam.

Guy said: “Of course he resisted being roped and hauled out from under the bed, that’s only natural.

“Catching and securing a croc of any size on land though is a fairly straight forward affair and we are experienced in that.

“The only real danger is getting bitten because it can’t drown you.

“The most important thing is to get its snout roped and secured and then it’s just a matter of restraining it and covering its eyes, to calm it down.

“Bigger crocs require more manpower obviously though. When roped they thrash around frantically and are extremely powerful.

“I just remember thinking ‘goodness gracious, that’s one for the books’.” Daily Mail.

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