CHINA—On April 20, several elementary students on holiday in the resort of Beihai Silver Beach climbed over an iron gate and an enclosed wall, entering into a crocodile pool. The pool was once a tourist attraction but has been out of operation for a long time. The students teased the crocodiles with catapults and sticks. An angered crocodile bit a nine-year-old boy known as Liu and dragged him into the pool where he was devoured by the group of crocodiles.
According to reports on The Beijing News, a student surnamed Pang who witnessed the incident said that the crocodile bit Liu's clothes. He tried to pull him back, but more crocodiles came to devour the boy. Pang sobbed: “They were huge.” Very quickly, a dozen crocodiles surrounded Liu.
A village woman who rushed to the scene later told The Beijing News reporter that when Liu was dragged into the pool, he cried out, “Help!” But he was soon devoured by the crocodiles. She said that Liu's parents had come from another place to do business in Beihai Silver Beach.
According to reports on Ming Bao, on April 21, crocodile catchers lured the crocodiles to surface from the water with a piece of pork. They chose to fire a shot at a crocodile with a swollen belly and dragged it onto land to dissect it. A legal medical doctor found the remains of the devoured child in its belly.
It was known that in 2001, the owners of the Beihai Silver Beach resort started to breed crocodiles in the pool. Currently, there are 11 crocodiles in the pool.
According to a shop owner near the resort, before the tragedy happened, he heard that the owner had hired someone to guard the pool. It was not known why the keeper was not at the scene when the accident happened.
In August 2005, the crocodiles climbed out of the pool through a water pipe and crawled onto the beach, causing great panic amongst the tourists who were swimming in the sea.