This week, I have a video sent in from Billschannel viewer Intyas Ikhsan from Indonesia!
Intyas came across a video that claims to show a crocodile trainer attacked and killed by the crocodiles he cared for. But is this video real? Or is it fake? That’s what Intyas wants to know.
The first thing I did was look at the video 3 or 4 times to see the basic material.
On the surface it looks very authentic -- typical grainy mobile phone footage shot in the vertical position.
It shows a guy in a robe walking confidently among a dozen or so crocodiles for a few moments. He’s holding a stick or something, so I am assuming he is a trainer of some type. At one point, he even holds one of the crocodiles by the tail.
But a few moments later, he looks like he is on his way out of the croc enclosure and crosses over one of the crocs… that’s when the croc suddenly grabs him by the leg and the guy falls to the ground.
We don’t really see what happens next because somebody steps in front of the camera recording all this… When the view is clear again, the man in the black robe is gone.
Now the video goes on for another minute or two and we never see the man again. But that is what makes me suspicious about this video. It seems a little too convenient that somebody would step in front of our view just at that moment. And then a few seconds later, the dude in the robe is just gone? I don’t know about all this.. smells kinda fishy!
Leaving the video, I went over to the Worldwide database for Crocodile attacks and did an advanced search on this event. I couldn’t find any mention of it.
I then went to Snopes.com
- but there was nothing there either
Nor was there anything on “Hox or fact” or “Hoax Slayer.”
I have to admit, this one had me stumped for awhile, but then it suddenly occured to me that Maybe the simple approach might be the best approach…
I ran a google news search on “trainer killed by crocodile” in three languages - and suddenly, there it was… A BBC News article from Sept 2013 with still pictures that looked like they came from the video I was researching.
But hey if you are thinking this is real just because the BBC says it’s real -- think again. Not long ago, I did a “real or fake” story about testicle eating fish that dozens of newspapers reported as true when it was really fake.
According the article, the trainer’s name was Dicko Toki and he was a crocodile feeder at the presidential palace in a west african country called the Ivory Coast .
The palace is not open to the public but the Lake where the crocs live, is a tourist attraction. At about 5 PM everyday, people pay to watch Dicko and his team feed live chickens to the waiting crocodiles.
Yeah, I know it seems kinda of gross, but according to John James who wrote the report for BBC - it is not just feeding - it’s also partly a sacrifice ritual that is deeply tied to the history of the culture.
This ethic group originally came from Ghana three centuries ago. They were under attack at the time, and to escape they needed to cross a river filled with crocodiles. The queen sacrificed her only child to the river god (as the legend goes), and because the god was pleased, they were all able to cross the river on the back crocodiles.
And that is why the presidential palace has a lake filled with cr