'It's ripping my flesh': Goanna viciously attacks man defending his peacocks

Samuel Hussey
News Reporter

“A goanna’s got my boyfriend!”

They were the words a terrified Queensland woman screamed down the phone to police as her partner sat hunched over with three claws ripping into his flesh.

After hearing some commotion coming from the shed out the back of his Toogoolawah property, northwest of Brisbane, Paul Smallhorn found a metre-long goanna staring down a family of peacocks as they cowered in the corner.

When the reptile wrapped its claw around the neck of a baby, the 60-year-old jumped into action and dragged it by the tail from the shed.

“I held him up and told my girlfriend Lily to take a photo of this,” Paul told Yahoo7 News.

Paul poses with the reptile moments before it latches onto his leg. Source: Supplied

“I had him at about arms length and then let my arm bend a little bit and that was it, his tail just wrapped around my leg and he had me.”

“He got my right leg below the knee with his back claws, I could feel him ripping into my flesh.

“When they attach, they’re bloody powerful, there’s no getting them off.”

After grabbing hold of one claw and it’s head, he could only wait in agonising pain as the reptile latched onto both his arm and leg.

Paul spent more than 90 minutes waiting for help as the reptile sunk its claws into his leg and arm. Source: Supplied
Police and paramedics assess the situation. Source: Supplied

Despite holding back the head and one claw, the aggravated goanna showed no sign of relenting, forcing Paul’s girlfriend Willy to run into the house and call police.

“She rang triple-zero and was crying and said ‘a goanna’s got my boyfriend’,” Paul recalled.

“They said ‘a what has your boyfriend?’

“I don’t know if we deal with this sort of thing, we might need some back-up’.”

As they waited more than an hour and a half in 40-degree heat for help to arrive, Willy brought out a chair and placed it in the shade for Paul.

“She was freaking out, she thought I was going to die,” he said.

“I was just sitting their hunched over, with a goanna ripping into my leg.”

He suffered deep lacerations to his arm and leg. Source: Supplied

Paramedic also injured

As four police officers watched on, Paul said the paramedic used a knife top help dislodge the goanna’s claws, not without suffering some injuries of his own.

Both were eventually transported to Esk Hospital, with Paul treated for deep lacerations and scratches, while the paramedic was also treated for scratches to his arm.

The goanna did not survive.

The attack comes just a few weeks after an eight-year-old girl was savagely bitten by a goanna at a Queensland beach.

It took two people to wrestle the lace monitor off the child after it latched on at a beachside campground on South Stradbroke Island on Thursday afternoon.

“It was a very concerning incident,” senior operations supervisor Jayney Shearman told reporters.


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