A crocodile feeder who spent his working life caring for crocodiles in a sacred lake has been eaten by one of them, the BBC reported.

Dicko Toke had been a crocodile keeper at the sacred lake Yamassoukrou, Ivory Coast, for 30 years when "The Captain" dragged him underwater to eat him.

The artificial lake had been built by Ivory Coast's founding father Felix Houphouet-Boigny Le Vieux around his presidential palace in the early 1980s.

Houphouet-Boigny wanted the lake to be blessed by animists and filled with massive crocodiles as the animals were considered almost sacred by his ethnic group - the Baoule.

Toke was responsible for looking after the animals, who all had fancy names such as Capitain, Vice-president and Parliamentary speaker. He would call them by name to the shore and feed them live chickens to enertain tourists.

His pose for a group of Pakistani UN soldiers, however, proved fatal. Capitain grabbed his robe and did not relax his grip despite being stabbed twice with a machete by Toke.

Toke, who was close to retirement, was pulled into the middle of the lake and dragged underwater with the help of another crocodile - Chef de Cabinet.

President Alassane Ouattara gave his personal condolences to the revered crocodile feeder's family, together with a contribution of CFA 5m (£6,000).