As soon as the crocodile attacked her friend, Tiki Dalai had the presence of mind to pick up a bamboo stick and hit the crocodile on its head. After a few blows, the crocodile, which had caught Basanti by the leg, let Basanti slip away. She then swiftly took her injured friend to safety. "She deserves praise for such a brave act," Pradip Kumar Das, a local resident, said.
When asked to narrate the incident, Tiki said, "The attack was so sudden that I had little time to react. The stick lying near the pond saved my friend."
The forest department in Odisha has offered to pay for Basanti's treatment. "We will also compensate Basanti's family as per the new rules in such incidents," divisional forest office Bimal Acharya said. Wildlife officials, however, are of the view that people are exposing themselves to crocodile attacks by venturing into crocodile-infested waters.
(With inputs from PTI)
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