Elderly man bitten by Fidel Castro's crocodile

Laura Mowat
Nile crocodile
A man was attending a private party at an aquarium in Stockholm when he was bitten by a crocodile that one belonged to Fidel Castro. (GETTY)

A crocodile that once belonged to the Cuban leader Fidel Castro has bitten an elderly man, leaving him needing hospital treatment in Sweden.

The man in his 70s was at a crayfish party, a traditional Nordic summertime event with eating and drinking, at the Skansen Aquarium in Stockholm when he was attacked.

Police said the man had his arm “on the wrong side of the security glass” when the reptile, called Castro, struck.

He was taken to hospital with a “heavily bandaged” arm, but the extent of his injuries are not clear.

HAVANA, CUBA -- DECEMBER 1979: Fidel Castro in his office, December 1979, in Havana, Cuba. He was being interviewed by Time Magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Henry Grunwald. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Fidel Castro in his office in Havana, Cuba, December 1979. (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Jonas Wahlstrom, head of Skansen Aquarium, said: “Nothing like this has ever happened with these crocodiles before."

The crocodile was one of two - the other is named Hillary - donated to the museum by cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov in 1981. Fidel Castro had given Shatalov the reptiles in 1978, but the Russian was unable to keep them at home and Moscow Zoo was too small.

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The gift was seen as a sign of friendship between the communist nations.

Castro and Hillary have had 11 children since they arrived at Skansen Aquarium.

Conserving the Cuban crocodile was one of Castro’s first priorities when he gained power in 1959.

He died aged 90 in November 2016.

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