Zoo Visitor Leaps Into Alligator Enclosure To Save Handler After Reptile Bites Her Hand
| Last updated
A zoo visitor leapt into an alligator enclosure to save a handler who had got her hand lodged in the reptile's mouth. Watch what happened below (some readers may find the clip distressing):
The unnamed employee of Scales and Tails Utah, US, is in charge of looking after the alligator and displaying its unique features to the public.
Unexpectedly however, as she put her hand down to her side, the beast locked onto it and the trainer was struggling to get out.
She was only able to get free following a display of heroics from one of the zoo's guests, who along with zoo staff managed to save the day.
Donnie Wiseman literally threw himself into the ring of fire and landed himself on top of the gator.
He somehow managed to ease the grip of its teeth that were snapping onto the zoo keeper's hand.
Wiseman managed to tame the beast and the alligator trainer was able to get herself seen to by a standby nurse.
Scales and Tails zoo took to Facebook to thank the people who leapt to the handler's aid during the incident, which too place last Saturday (14 August).
It said: "We want to send a huge shoutout to Donnie Wiseman and Todd & Amy Christopher! We want to thank them for their heroism.
"Working with some of these animals has inherent risks that we as the staff accept.
"Yesterday, the sort of event that we hope never happens happened. One of our gator handlers got bitten by our large alligator and things took a bad turn.
"These gentleman could have stayed in the safety zone as most of us would, but instead jumped into the situation, of their own volition, and helped secure the alligator.
"Their help, combined with the training of our staff member, probably saved her life and her limbs. Mrs. Christopher had a nursing background and started first aid prior to the EMT's arrival and we thank her for that as well. Our staff member is doing well and is in recovery."
Scales and Tails also shared an update from the unnamed zoo keeper.
She said: "I got lucky to land in a hospital that employs what has to be the best orthopedic surgeon in Utah. He was able to improvise and come up with a solution that should result in full use of my hand.
"I can't explain the level of admiration I have for that man. I'm being treated aggressively with antibiotics, which I'm thankful the Infectious Disease staff here were prepared to do.
"Lastly, I've had the most wonderful nursing staff that have made me feel safe and comfortable since I got here. I definitely want to thank everyone that has reached out and for doing so, as well; it's made recovery feel so much more manageable! Thank you!"