IT’S the stuff nightmares are made of – but this chap was very much awake when an eight foot crocodile was discovered lounging under his bed one morning.
Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Guy Whittall found he had spent an entire night at a lodge on the Save Conservancy in the Lowveld, lying just centimetres above the enormous reptile.
Astonishingly, the giant crocodile managed to stay hidden for more than eight hours, with Whittall even perching on the edge of his bed for much of the morning and planning his day, oblivious to the fact a 150kg beast lay within snapping distance of his dangling feet.
The 40-year-old was only alerted to the bizarre scenario when he was having breakfast in the kitchen and heard the petrified screams of a housemaid.
Whittall, who is a director at Humani Lodge, ran back to his room to discover the enormous crocodile nestled under his bed.
He said: "The really disconcerting thing about the whole episode is the fact that I was sitting on the edge of the bed that morning, bare foot and just centimetres away from the croc.
"Crocodiles are experts at hiding, that's why they have survived on Earth for so long and why they are the ultimate killers in water.
"They know how to keep quiet and go unnoticed, it's in their nature.
"The crocodile came from the Turgwe River which is a couple of kilometres from the house.
"They often wander about the bush especially when it's cold and raining. I think he liked it under the bed because it was warm."
Along with a posse of brave co-workers, Whittall evicted the crocodile from his new lair and released him back to where he came from.
Whittall said: "Of course he resisted being roped and hauled out from under the bed, that's only natural.
"Catching and securing a croc of any size on land though is a fairly straight forward affair and we are experienced in that. The only real danger is getting bitten because it can't drown you.
"The most important thing is to get its snout roped and secured and then it's just a matter of restraining it and covering its eyes, to calm it down.
"Bigger crocs require more manpower obviously though. When roped they thrash around frantically and are extremely powerful.
"I just remember thinking goodness gracious, that's one for the books. I'm pretty sure everyone in Humani checks under their bed before going to sleep now anyway."
Nap time over .... Workers battle take the crocodile back to a nearby river
Resting ... The crocodile under bed
Guy James Whittall is a former Zimbabwean cricketer whose career spanned for over a decade until his retirement in 2003 During his career, Whittall played 46 Tests and 147 One Day Internationals (ODI)s.
He was captain of Zimbabwe’s crickect team in four ODIs and he played as a a right-handed middle-order batsman and a right arm medium pace bowler.