updated 1/23/2008 8:31:15 PM ET 2008-01-24T01:31:15

A man rescued his colleague from the jaws of a crocodile in northern Australia but accidentally shot the unlucky co-worker in the process, police said Wednesday.

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The two farmhands were collecting wild crocodile eggs on a riverbank Tuesday in Northern Territory when a crocodile snatched one of them, Jason Green, by the arm, the Northern Territory Police said in a statement.

"The male colleague shot at the crocodile, causing it to let go of the victim's arm, but a further shot hit the victim in the upper right arm," the statement said.

The two men had been collecting eggs to boost the crocodile population at their farm in the northern city of Darwin. Their employer sent a helicopter that flew Green to a Darwin hospital for surgery.

Police Commander Bob Harrison said Green's injuries were not life-threatening.

"He's going to be very sick and sorry and have a very good story to tell," Harrison told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Police could provide no information about the crocodile's condition.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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