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Lucky escape after man gored by NT buffalo

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

A wildlife photographer is lucky to be alive after a terrifying encounter with an angry wild buffalo in the Northern Territory outback.

Naturist Philip Boyd was hunting with a mate in Kakadu National Park on Tuesday when they spotted the horned beast.

Mr Boyd's friend fired four shots. The water buffalo staggered before turning on Mr Boyd and charging "like a rhino".

The animal knocked the six foot tall, heavily-built man to the ground and punched its horn into his left bicep.

"I landed on all fours and was looking up at this beast. It was like watching a car brake in the dust," he told ABC local radio on Thursday.

"He turned, he looked at me... it was either he or I. It was pretty terrifying."

As the buffalo lined up for a second attack, Mr Boyd's friend fired a final, fatal shot, saving his life.

His mate tied a rope around Mr Boyd's arm to stem the blood loss. They jumped in a car and were racing to a Jabiru health clinic before an ambulance met them halfway.

Mr Boyd was flown by helicopter to Royal Darwin Hospital where doctors operated on his arm.

"I was lucky not to cut the artery," Mr Boyd said.

Doctors repaired a damaged nerve and he'll undergo tests on Thursday to determine whether further surgery is necessary.

Despite his ordeal, Mr Boyd plans to return to Kakadu and bears no ill-will toward the animal.

"It wasn't the buffalo's fault. They cannot be treated like a domesticated pet. This is their backyard," he said.

NT buffalo are large animals that can weigh more than a tonne and bear horns more than two metres long end-to-end.

They were introduced in the 19th century and used as working animals or for meat. The feral beasts are today regarded as environmental pests.

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