A 12 year-old boy has shared his horror at being pounced on by a huge crocodile which sunk its fangs into his leg as he played hide-and-seek at a Mexican holiday resort.
Charlie Buhl, of Philadelphia, was hiding on a set of wooden steps leading to a lagoon at Club Med Cancun resort on June 18 with his friends when he was attacked by the 13 foot reptile.
Resort workers rushed to the scene where they forcibly kicked the crocodile off of the young boy’s leg and brought him to safety. Charlie was warned by doctors that his leg wounds – which became infected – were so severe that he faced losing the limb.
But he recovered with surgery, and is now even planning to dress as a giant crocodile for Halloween.
‘There was nothing I could do, it was so strong,’ Buhl said in a Wednesday interview with Good Morning America.
‘I could feel like it almost pricking the inside of my leg,’ he said. ‘Like someone was digging their nails into your arm.’
‘The workers helped pull me out and they were picking the crocodile’s eyes and putting a blue pillow on its head and then it let go and they like put me on the ground,’ Charlie said of the rescue.
Philadelphia boy Charlie Buhl, 12, has spoken out after he was attacked by a 13-foot crocodile in June at Club Med Cancun
Buhl was taken to a local hospital where he underwent four weeks of surgery which included stapling an open skin flap
The crocodile had pulled on Buhl’s leg while he was hiding on a staircase that led to the lagoon (file photo)
Buhl was taken to a local hospital where he underwent four weeks of medical procedures.
Despite initially being told he might lose his leg, he has been stitched up and has since recovered from the terrifying incident.
Buhl had been staying at the resort with his mother Jennifer, 50, and younger brother Johnny, seven, at the time.
His mother said her son’s screams had alerted someone near the scene which prompted a group of male workers to rush to the boy’s aid.
After being taken to the hospital, his mother was told that his injuries were found to be extremely serious and it was very likely that he was going to lose his leg, which was infected with bacteria.
Jennifer Buhl said that the resort acted ‘really honorably and responsibly’ for covering her son’s medical bills and increasing security around the lagoon
Charlie had been staying at the resort with his mother and seven-year-old brother Johnny
The young boy, however, managed to keep his leg after undergoing surgery which included stapling an open skin flap.
Club Med Cancun covered Buhl’s medical bills and has since heightened the resort’s security to avoid any further incidents.
‘I think Club Med has acted really honorably and really responsibly,’ Jennifer Buhl also said in the interview.
‘They immediately closed off the area, put a guard there 24/7, put up signs and lights…’
The resort was initially said to have no locks or warning signs on the gate leading to the lagoon near where Charlie was attacked.
Club Med has since released a statement to PEOPLE in response to the accident at their resort.
Club Med has since released a statement on the incident and described their new enforced security measures
‘The safety and security of our guests and staff is our highest priority,’ a spokesperson for the resort said.
‘Club Med Cancún has reinforced the area around the lagoon by increasing the number of signs, lighting and installing taller fencing to further protect the safety of our guests and staff from the surrounding lagoon.
‘Existing warning signs in various locations at the resort have been expanded and increased to warn of the presence and potential danger of wildlife in the lagoon, including crocodiles.
‘Club Med met with government officials and environmental ministries to voice concerns about the ongoing management of protected natural lagoons.
‘Club Med reviews all of its safety protocols regularly and continues to assess if additional measures need to be taken.’
Charlie returned to his Philadelphia home in July and is now planning his Halloween costume which, of course, happens to be a 16 foot long crocodile.
‘For Halloween, me and two of my friends are building this giant crocodile that all three of us are going to fit in and it’s 16 feet long and they think it’s cool,’ he said.
This is not the first crocodile attack to occur in Mexico over the summer.
California teen Kianna Hummel, 18, had previously been attacked in July at a resort in Puerto Vallarta after a crocodile grabbed her by the leg during a late night swim in the ocean.
‘I just started hitting it as hard as I could and then it kept just taking me under the water,’ Hummel had said as she sat in her hospital bed.
Hummel had suffered severe muscle and tissue damage to her legs following the attack on the beach.