MEXICO CITY (AP) – Two British women are recovering from a crocodile attack in a lagoon along Mexico’s south Pacific coast, an official said on Wednesday.
The two women, apparently sisters, were visiting the Manialtepec lagoon near the surf and beach destination of Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca when the attack occurred on Sunday evening, according to Said Silva, the chief of the local civil defense office.
The lagoon is known for its stands of mangroves and for its brackish water which becomes bioluminescent at certain times of the year.
Silva said witnesses told authorities the two Britons were swimming when one of them was attacked by a crocodile. The second woman was injured while trying to help the first.
“It had to be a smaller animal, because if it had been big it wouldn’t have resurfaced,” said Silva, whose office responds several times a year to crocodiles entering human-occupied areas around. from the lagoon.
One of the women had surgery and was in an induced coma, Silva said. Mexican authorities have not identified the victims.
But Hana Laurie, who identified herself as the victims’ sister, wrote in a Facebook post that the least seriously injured victim, Georgia Laurie, had been released from a hospital in Mexico; the other sister, Melissa, remained hospitalized.
Hana Laurie wrote that Georgia fought off the crocodile as he attacked again.
“Georgia hit the crocodile multiple times as it came back three times to attack, while their friends went for help,” she wrote.
Silva said that because it is the rainy season, tourists may have run into a female defending her nest. “He may have been attacked,” he noted.
Hana Laurie wrote that the guide who took them to the lagoon appeared to be unlicensed and operating illegally.