ARBA MINCH, Ethiopia — God works in mysterious ways.
A protestant minister performing a lakeside baptism in Ethiopia was killed when a crocodile leapt up and dragged him into the murky waters.
“He baptised the first person and he passed on to another one. All of a sudden, a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor,” local resident Ketema Kairo told the BBC.
Docho Eshete was conducting the baptism ceremony for about 80 people on Sunday morning at the edge of Lake Abaya in Arba Minch in the southwestern Ethiopia when the crocodile leapt from the water and attacked him.
Fishermen and townsfolk sprang into action to save him but were unable to wrest his body from the crocodile in time. Using fishing nets, they managed to prevent the crocodile from taking the pastor into deeper water and were eventually able to pull his mangled body to shore.
“They only managed to get his dead body,” said Eiwnetu Kanko, a police officer from Arba Minch, 300 miles south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The pastor died from bites to his legs, back and hands, officials said. The crocodile escaped.
Abaya is Ethiopia’s second largest lake and is known for having a large crocodile population. The lake’s reddish brown waters make it hard to spot a crocodile until it surfaces.