JOHANNESBURG – A crocodile killed a man while he was retrieving golf balls from a dam called Lake Panic at South Africa's flagship wildlife reserve, officials said Thursday.
The crocodile grabbed 29-year-old Jacques van der Sandt in its jaws on Wednesday night and disappeared under the water at a golf course next to a staff residential area within the park boundaries, according to Kruger National Park officials.
Rangers killed the crocodile after a two-hour search following the attack, according to a park statement. It said the body of Van der Sandt, the son of a park employee, was recovered with tooth marks on the back and front but did not have any "mutilation."
Oubaas Coetzer, a police officer, said the crocodile attacked van der Sandt while he was standing at waist height in the water and reaching below the surface to feel for golf balls on the bottom of the dam.
"One guy challenged the other to see who can retrieve the most golf balls," Coetzer said. He described van der Sandt as a keen golfer who grew up in the park and had probably seen crocodiles in the dam in the past. The victim's mother works for the park, and his father also worked at Kruger until his retirement.