WATCH: Alligator Bites Animal Handler at Zoo Before Attendees Attempt to Help

by Shelby Scott

Animal handlers take great risks in working with dangerous and frequently unpredictable creatures. Despite that danger, they do so to help everyday visitors learn about creature habits and lifestyles. However, one Utah park alligator didn’t seem interested in its handler’s teachings when it fiercely latched onto the woman’s arm.

Initially, viewers can see the woman gently but sternly push the gator away as it threateningly approached her. She tried to discourage the animal by placing her hand under its chin and shoving it back toward its watery hangout. Nevertheless, the gator ensnared her hand in its teeth as she went to pull it away and quickly clamped down.

The Handler Escapes the Jaws of the Beast

The incident was no doubt terrifying for the unnamed park handler and onlookers. However, it appeared she had been trained for something like this. She quickly finds her hand trapped in the animal’s mouth and it starts wrenching on her hand and arm. It then pulls her back as it would with actual prey into the water.

Despite the intensity of pain and adrenaline she must have felt, she lets the animal pull her. She rapidly follows it back into the water so as not to lose the hand or completely dislodge her arm.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the alligator tries to barrel roll the woman. She’s forced to follow through on the roll so as not to cause further injury to herself. Luckily for her, some brave zoo-goers jumped into the midst of the scary situation. One individual, Donnie Wiseman, thought nothing of his own safety. He jumped into the enclosure and the watery pool and sprawled across the alligator’s back.

Despite that it didn’t immediately free the woman, it kept the animal from continuously barrel rolling her and gave her the chance to instruct Wiseman on how to assist in the situation. Eventually, though she was injured, both the handler and Wiseman escape safely as one other zoogoer pulled the woman out and the latter quickly dislodged himself from the animal’s back.

Alligators Move Quickly and Quietly When Attacking

As we can see in the video, alligators move quickly and precisely when attacking. They latch on to an easy-to-reach limb/body part and clamp down with fierce rapidity. Luckily with the intervention of brave zoogoer Donnie Wiseman, the unnamed animal handler will more than likely retain her hand and eventually see recovery.

However, other people, especially Floridians, aren’t so lucky in their alligator encounters. Earlier this summer, one Floridian cycling along a popular parkway lost control of his bike. He wound up rolling into the clutches of a nine-foot alligator and sustained severe injuries. Following his escape, he was quickly hospitalized.

Sometimes though, those encounters don’t end in violence. Some only end with mild emotional trauma and an enlarged fear of alligators. This was the case recently for a group of Florida fishermen. A TikTok video shows a couple and some friends about to reel in an alligator gar when one of the group members notices a dark, murky shape in the water. They quickly realize it’s a gator, one calm and at rest seemingly, and they escape to tell the tale.