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A British tourist attacked by a 10ft crocodile was left "covered in blood" as her sister screamed for help, eye-witnesses say.
Melissa Laurie, 28, is now out of a coma and breathing independently after the terrifying attack near surfing resort Puerto Escondido in Mexico.
The zookeeper developed sepsis after being left with infected bite wounds across her stomach and legs from the predator.
She was swimming in a lagoon with her twin sister Georgia when she was dragged under the water by the reptile, which threw her around “like a rag doll” on Sunday.
The sisters had booked a tour of the Manialtepec Lagoon, but it emerged their guide was unlicensed.
According to reports, he has been named locally as a German backpacker called Richie, who has been pictured but has since vanished from the area.
He took them into a crocodile nesting area where the reptiles are fiercely protective of their eggs, it is claimed.
Georgia rescued her sister from the jaws of the reptile, which she punched three times on the head.
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As she cradled her sister and swam to a boat, the crocodile attacked again.
Witnesses could hear their desperate screams for help as they yelled “crocodile, crocodile”.
After saving her sister’s life Georgia was treated for hand wounds but was later released from hospital.
Georgia, a sales rep for a diving school, told the Daily Mail her twin had been taken off life support, although is unable to speak.
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She said: “She recognised me and knew who I was. She seemed happy to see me.”
The twins, from Berkshire, had been in Mexico to volunteer, working in animal sanctuaries and for travel.
Certified guide Gerardo Escamilla Perez, who was showing another group the lagoon, said he started to hear shouting and saw there were people screaming inside the mangroves.
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After wading in towards them, he said: "It's a dangerous area, even more so at this time of year because animals are nesting.
“I heard them shouting, 'crocodile, crocodile’."
He told the Daily Mail he saw "bite marks, the marks of teeth", adding: "Her head was covered in blood.
"They thought the crocodile was nearby and would attack again."
Moises Salinas, 16, who was hired to help out on one of the boats, said he rushed towards the sisters.
He said he could hear one of them shouting, “my sister, my sister”.
The teenager found Melissa being cradled by her sister and said she was conscious but breathing heavily like she “couldn't get enough air”.
One man had jumped up a tree as he feared the croc was nearby and might strike again, he added.
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