Crocodile feeder eaten by Crocodiles.
1. The crocodile feeder of Ivory Coast Eaten Alive by his Crocodiles.
2. Dicko Toki Eaten Alive by his Crocodiles.
Hoax or Fact:
A video in circulation online since at least couple of years claims to show a Crocodile feeder of Ivory Coast Eaten Alive by his Crocodiles. Yes, the disturbing incident is unfortunately a fact!
About the Crocodile Feeder
The old man seen in the video is Dicko Toki, who has been the supervisor of the crocodiles for close to 4 decades, feeding and taking care of their health. Seen in the video is actually artificial Lake Caimans in the District of Yamoussoukro, the political and administrative capital city of Ivory Coast. The Caimans Lake with alligators in fact adorns the front of the Presidential palace in Yamoussoukro.
Quite many people who saw the video of Crocodile feeder eaten alive by Crocodiles felt it could not be real, also because the actual snatching away of the man was not visible in the footage. However, a close look at the video scene by scene reveals that the video is not fake. As you can see in Image Gallery, the screenshots taken from the video at various intervals reveal the series of incidents that happened on the fateful day.
On 20th of August 2012, reportedly around 17 hours, after spending time with his crocodiles, Dicko Toke was on his way to the barrier, when a crocodile caught hold of his loose robe. Dicko Toke lost his balance and fell down, then he tried to ward off the reptile with the rusty machete he held in his hand. But unfortunately, another crocodile that seems to be waiting at the nearby bank of the lake came along all of a sudden and dragged Dicko Toke into waters. Between timeframes 2:24 and 2:40 in the first video, you can see the crocodile-man struggle in the middle of the lake. This is how the crocodile feeder Dicko Toke became the prey himself, under the helpless gaze of visitors who were stunned and disheartened. Shown in the second video is another footage of the tragic incident, which again, does not show the actual killing. The third video is a local news report about the unfortunate death of crocodile feeder Dicko Toke.
For visitors to Yamoussoukro, the Crocodiles in Caimans Lake are a major attraction, especially during feeding time. The crocodiles are considered sacred animals; as the guardians of Ivory Coast's founding father, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who was buried inside the palace grounds in 1994. The artificial Lake Caiman was in fact created by the President in the early 1980s. Notably, there's this local ethnic belief that 'required sacrifices'. The feeding ceremony (of meat and chicken) is in fact a sacrificial ritual that is a part of the local culture. Even in the current case, most visitors (often Ivorian) used to pay Dicko Toki and his assistants for the privilege of watching a live chicken being thrown as feed to the waiting crocodiles.
The 'sacred' crocodiles in the Caimans Lake proved ruthless towards their master: the old Dicko Toke, who knew them all by name. What's more disheartening is that few more similar deaths happened that year in 2012, when the Governor of Yamoussoukro district Augustin Thiam had to take precautionary measures, including the closure of the Caimans Lake for visitors. The Mayor of Yamoussoukro, Jean Kouacou Gnrangbé also made a law to enact it as red zone.