Croc victim snaps back, Benidorm break for Crocodile Craig

Left to right - Suzie Maxfield, Craig Hamilton and Jan Hamilton

CRAIG HAMILTON, a 38-year-old window cleaner and boxing enthusiast from Milton Keynes, and his girlfriend Suzie Maxfield, 32, have been enjoying a break in Benidorm this week after a traumatic experience at London’s Regents Park Zoo.
Animal lovers Craig and Suzie, visiting the zoo in mid-April, looked in at the Reptile House, where a keeper was entertaining the crowd with a baby crocodile tucked under his arm.
“Can I stroke it?” asked Craig.
“Certainly,” said the keeper.
As Craig reached out his hand, the crocodile snapped round, biting deeply into Craig’s left hand! Craig said: “I could feel the bone in my little finger crack and then blood started dripping everywhere.”
Craig was given emergency First Aid treatment by zoo staff and then taken to hospital where it was found that his finger had been snapped in two. He required an emergency operation that involved having a metal pin inserted into his hand and plastic surgery to repair damaged ligaments and tendons.
On his return home he must face extensive physiotherapy for months and doctors predict it could be a year before Craig’s hand is back to normal. He said: “Imagine if it had been a child or an elderly person. I have good strength in my hands but it could have been disastrous for someone more vulnerable.” Suzie said: “Everyday tasks are almost impossible – I am having to help Craig wash, dress and eat.”
Craig, who dubbed the baby crocodile ‘Snapper’, said this has not put him off reptiles but he will be wary of them in the future. Unable to work, he has had to borrow cash from his brother to avoid cancelling the family’s planned holiday to Benidorm. Previous summers at the resort he enjoyed water-sports, volleyball and jet-skis but this year Craig, Suzie and mum Jan had to settle for less strenuous activities.
At Benidorm’s Sol Pelicanos Hotel Craig has become something of a legend, his plastered arm earning him the nickname ‘Crocodile Craig’.
London’s Regents Park Zoo has been contacted by The Euro Weekly News but at the time of going to press no comment has been received regarding Craig’s unfortunate experience in the Reptile House.


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