Goanna attack sends elderly Aussie couple to hospital

16 Aug 2019 / 11:16 H.

SYDNEY: An elderly Australian couple were attacked by a goanna as they tried to defend their pet dog from the creature, emergency officials said Friday.

Goannas — predatory lizards often with large teeth and claws — can grow up to two metres in length, though most varieties are under a metre. Attacks on humans are rare.

The couple were scratched and bitten as they tried to stop the goanna from savaging their dog, an ambulance spokeswoman said. National broadcaster ABC said the dog was killed in the incident.

A man in his 70s “sustained significant injuries to his leg and arm” and was airlifted to hospital for surgery after the incident in northeastern Queensland.

A woman in her sixties was also hospitalised with an injury to her foot, she said.

“The patients are quite lucky not to have been more seriously injured given that goannas can be quite savage,“ the spokeswoman said, adding: “It doesn’t happen every day, that’s for sure.” — AFP

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