A MONSTER crocodile chomped on a boy’s leg and dragged him under as he played hide and seek on a family holiday in Cancun in a terrifying attack.
Charlie Buhl, 12, said he felt like he had been “stabbed” after he was ambushed by a massive 13ft croc which jumped out of the water and grabbed his leg.
The boy was left with horrific injuries when he was viciously attacked while playing hide and seek with his mates on the pool deck of Club Med Cancun on June 18.
Charlie was hiding with a pal on a staircase which led to a lagoon at around 8.55pm when the croc pounced and he was suddenly yanked into the water.
He told Good Morning America: “There was nothing I could do. It was so strong.”
The boy’s mum, Jennifer, 50, told People: “Charlie kept grabbing the stairs to try to pull himself up… but couldn’t.”
She said the boys’ terrified screams were heard by a nearby mum who rushed to help.
Jennifer said a group of men also came to the rescue and one began pulling Charlie away from the croc while three others smacked the reptile with their fists and feet and covered its eyes with a pillow from the pool deck.
She said: “When they arrived, Charlie was under the water. They couldn’t see him.”
Charlie said he vividly remembers the croc “squeezing” his leg and pulling “as hard as it could”.
He said: “It felt like I got stabbed. I knew it was real, but I didn’t want it to be real.”
He added: “I remember it pulling me under twice… but when I looked, I could still see the light so I know I was only under for like, a half a second.
“At the beginning, it didn’t hurt at all. It just felt like if someone grabbed your leg and squeezed it with their hands tightly.
“It almost felt like its teeth were holding the blood in because it hurt less with its teeth in [my leg] than when I was on the ground after.”
Charlie said a pal first told him about the “great hiding spot on the stairs right next to the lagoon”.
Jennifer said the stairs leading down to the lagoon, often used for excursions at the resort, had a metal gate with “no lock” and “no signs or warnings”.
She said she was eating dinner at a restaurant overlooking the pool when her son was attacked.
I just want people to know that they can die in there.
“I was described at the time like a bull in a china shop. My body was in a panic,” she said.
“I got to where he was on the pool deck and just fell on his chest. I was comforted that he was warm and he was speaking and crying… and then I just started praying because that was what came naturally.
“There was nothing for me to do but pray.”
The ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive and Jennifer was told her son’s injuries were “extremely serious” and he “would likely lose the leg”.
The family holiday was extended by four weeks as Charlie underwent several operations in a Cancun hospital.
Doctors heroically managed to save his leg by stapling the open skin flap, Jennifer said.
He was also given 15 hyperbaric chamber treatments and was put on a Vitamin C drip.
And Jennifer has praised the resort for covering all of her son’s medical expenses.
But Charlie and his mum now want to warn others about the dangers of crocodiles in Mexico.
Jennifer said: “It’s a massive tourist attraction and there need to be warnings at the airports or hotels. The lagoon also needs to be separated better from the people with so many crocodiles in there.”
Charlie added: “I just want people to know that they can die in there.”
In a statement, Club Med said it was “deeply saddened by the incident” and “continue to provide assistance to the family”.
The hotel said it has since installed warning signs, lights and “taller fencing” to prevent further attacks, according to a statement provided to People.
Crocodiles are fierce, cold-blooded predators which brutally attack and kill about 1,000 people a YEAR – many more than sharks.
Brave Georgia punched the predator in the face three times and dragged her sister out of the water.
Melissa was left fighting for life after her wounds caused sepsis but later woke from her coma.
In another incident earlier this month, a croc killed and ate a young girl in front of her horrified friends while out swimming.
Suci Ramadhani, eight, was swallowed by the beast on the Indonesian island of Buru.
And in 2020, Ricky Ganya, 14, was last seen collecting snails on a riverbank in Kuching, Malaysia when the croc pounced, clamped its jaws on his ankle and dragged him underwater.
His remains were retrieved from inside a crocodile’s belly after he was eaten alive.
And in Indonesia, a woman’s limbs were cut out of a crocodile’s stomach shortly after it ate her in June 2020.
The beast pounced on Fatimah, 45, while she was fishing in a river in North Kalimantan.
The 19-foot long giant crocodile was caught the next day after angry residents hunted the beast.
In Uganda, a monster 16ft crocodile has eaten 80 people and even snatched children, according to terrified locals.
Known as ‘Osama’, the 75-year-old beast is accused of a number of brutal killings, believed to have taken place over 14 years in the small village of Luganga.