In a heart-wrenching incident, a toddler in Malaysia went missing after a crocodile dragged him underwater right before his father's eyes.
The attack happened last Thursday (Dec 1) morning off the coast of Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysian news outlet Bernama reported.
In a Facebook video shared on the same day, a crocodile was seen surfacing from the water with the one-year-old boy's body in its mouth.
His distraught father, who had a deep cut on his head, sobbed while explaining what had happened to concerned passers-by.
Another man could be heard chiding him in Malay: "Who asked you to run just now, isn't [your child] already eaten by the crocodile?"
Malaysian fire and rescue services told the media that they were alerted to the incident at 10.25am that day.
The father and son were rowing a boat at sea when they were attacked by a crocodile, said Lahad Datu Fire and Rescue Station chief Sumsoa Rashid.
According to him, the 45-year-old man had tried to fight the reptile off by pulling his son out of its jaws, but ended up with multiple bite wounds while the child was dragged underwater.
"He was given first aid before being taken to the hospital for further treatment," Rashid said.
Despite the authorities launching a massive search-and-rescue operation, the boy remains missing, Malaysian fire and rescue services said in an update.
Some young children have fallen prey to hungry crocodiles in recent years.
In July 2019, a two-year-old girl in Cambodia was eaten by crocodiles after falling into an enclosure at her family's farm.
Her father later found the reptiles fighting over her remains — only her skull was left intact.
Speaking to the Khmer Times then, Siem Reap police said that the girl had left the house to play on the land around the crocodile farm which was located behind the house.
Despite a three-metre tall fence around the enclosure, children who were small enough could still fall through the gaps, they added.