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A reptile handler who nearly lost her hand to an alligator has described it as 'just a bad day'. You can watch what happened in the clip below:
WARNING: Some readers may find the below content distressing
The footage from Scales and Tails Utah in the United States went viral earlier in the week, as the reptile centre's Lindsay Bull was saved from the teeth of captive alligator Darth Gator by a member of public who was visiting for a child's birthday party.
Donnie Wiseman came to Bull's aid after the alligator locked its teeth on her as she went to feed it - and he got there just in time, as it looked set to perform its 'death roll'.
A death roll is the move an alligator makes when it suddenly rolls over when holding its prey, in order to rip them to pieces.
It was a shocking scene that could've ended in tragedy - unsurprisingly, it has led to calls for Scales and Tails to be shut down and for Darth Gator to be released from captivity.
However, speaking to Deseret News, Bull said: "We are going to fight as long as we can to keep him.
"As long as he is in our care and it is our choice, no consequences are going to happen to him. He was just doing what an animal does."
Bull has worked with Darth Gator for three and a half years and says the 'gator responds to multiple commands, including 'come', 'stay' and 'open' - apparently even allowing the trainer to kiss his face. I bet he does.
"I love him. He is like a member of my family," said Bull.
"That is true of everybody who works there. Everybody loves Darth."
She went on to explain what happened last weekend when she nearly became his next meal, saying: "He was getting food, he got touched on the face and he bit down.
"For all he knew it was a piece of chicken, so he grabbed it."
Now, Shane Richins - the owner of the reptile centre - has his license to own an alligator under review, with active animal rights group PETA demanding the business should be shut down.
Darth Gator has been at the centre for most of his 11 years and Richins said he is hoping to hang onto the animal for as long as he can.
"I know as long as we have him, he's safe," Richins said.
"He was just having a bad day. He is not going to be blamed for being an alligator - that is why we would never do anything to harm him."
He added that Bull is anxious to return to work as soon as possible.
"She would never forgive me if I did anything to that alligator," he said.
"She is in love with that alligator."
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