Officials have warned villagers living near the Save River in southeastern Zimbabwe to move around in pairs for their own safety after a man was savaged by a crocodile, a report says.

Vhusani Munyire, 28, only managed to escape the crocodile by shoving a reed down its throat, says the state-controlled Manica Post.

The crocodile had sunk its jaws into Munyire’s leg as he crossed the Save River last Saturday.

“Munyire fought back and with the reptile’s jaws exposed, he inserted a reed in its wide open mouth,” the newspaper said.

Continued the report: “In an instant it released its grip and Munyire made his way out of the water and crawled to safety on the sandy shore.”

He’s being treated at a local clinic.

Photos published by the newspaper, with the bone of the leg exposed, indicates how serious the wound is and that it’s clear he needs further medical attention.

South African hunter Scott van Zyl is believed to have been taken by a crocodile on the banks of the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

The recent rains that have pounded Zimbabwe caused flooding in the south of the country and rising river and dam levels elsewhere.

This can mean that crocodiles shift location to places where they are not normally seen.