MANILA, Philippines – A 10-year-old girl was decapitated by a crocodile in a Philippine lake after the creature knocked over her canoe, police said Wednesday.
The girl and a classmate were on their way Saturday to their floating school on Agusan del Sur province's Mihaba Lake when the 23-foot-long crocodile bumped the boat, causing it to capsize, said Bunawan town police officer Melchor Danuco.
Rescuers found the girl's headless body floating on the lake on Tuesday, he said.
The classmate was rescued by a man escorting the pair in another boat, said Roel Hipulan, head of the private group that runs the school in remote Bunawan town.
"It's a monster crocodile," Hipulan said, adding that he had seen the creature. He said salt water crocodiles, some bigger than a bus, are known to inhabit the lake, though attacks are rare.
But the lake's waters have been swollen for the past several months, causing fish to scatter to others parts. With little to feed on, the crocodiles have become aggressive, he said.
The crocodile attack has prompted the temporary closure of the school and the evacuation of about 100 residents of houses on stilts on the lake, Hipulan added.