One elderly farmer has had the fright of his life, and has learned that not only do you never smile at a crocodile, it's also a good idea not to poke it either.

Peter Watson was caught on film poking a crocodile with a stick at a farm in South Africa, and the crocodile did not like it, iol News reported.

The crocodile, who was protecting eggs that were poised to hatch, launched itself at Watson and managing to get its jaws around his foot.

The video shows Watson, who owns Crocodile Creek in KwaZulu-Natal, trying to move the crocodile away from the eggs, poking it with a stick at one point to get it to move along.

It then sprung into action - an attack that the 73-year-old said he was lucky to survive from.

"It shook me like a flippin' leaf,” he said.

"It got a hold of my foot and started shaking me… I had to protect my stomach and my throat… that could be fatal because it could tear my stomach out."

Fortunately for Watson, his only injuries were a missing toenail.

"I'm amazed my toe stayed on," Mr Watson added.

However, if he was looking for a little bit of sympathy from his wife, Watson wasn't going to get it.

"My wife is bloody annoyed, if you get bitten around here, you get no sympathy," he said.

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