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An American surfer has had part of his right leg amputated after being attacked by a crocodile in Costa Rica.
The attack happened when he was crossing the river in Tamarindo, a well-known croc hot-spot, on Friday leaving his lower leg almost completely severed.
***Warning – graphic images****
Pat McNulty, a lifeguard at the popular tourist beach told Associated Press that the man's friend fought off the crocodile after the attack. He said: ''It was a vicious attack and he was bitten several times in the leg as well as the head. They were able to get him free, swim him to safety and then trained lifeguards responded and we administered first aid and called an ambulance. His friend saved his life ... and then we the lifeguards helped keep him alive,"
Pat accompanied the man, who he said was a surfer from Colorado but would not identify him, to Liberia where he underwent surgery.
This is the third and most severe attack in as many years at Tamarindo, according to the Tico Times. In March last year, Val Muscalu was bitten on the foot while sitting in the lineup and, in 2013, a Spanish surfer sustained minor injuries after a croc scratched him.
But, according to one of the Times' commentors, crocodiles are usually found further up the estuary. However, over the past 18 months or so, taxi drivers and estuary guides have been 'feeding them closer to the river mouth', drawing them towards the sea. Officials met after the attack on Friday to consider strategies for relocating crocodiles and installing appropriate signage to keep people safe.