WATCH: Bystander Saves Handler From Alligator Attack
An animal handler at a Utah petting zoo was lucky a bystander with balls of steel was present when she got pulled into an alligator pen.
"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," Scales and Tails Utah in West Valley City posted on Facebook.
The bystander, Donnie Wiseman, was caught on video by his wife jumping on top of the gator after the handler's hand was trapped in the gator's mouth when she tried to feed it.
"Back," the handler told the gator as she opened the door. It continued to try to climb out, so she pushed it back by its snout, but the gator turned its head and snapped the handler's hand in its mouth.
"What do you want me to do?" Donnie asked before calling for help. The gator rolled, a common way for it to injure and disorient its prey.
Donnie jumps in without hesitation, climbing on top of the gator, and applying pressure to keep it from moving.
The handler stayed calm throughout the attack, coaching Donnie on how to help her.
"I hope no one thinks it's a good idea to just run out and hop on a gator because they saw it, but they probably saved her arm and possibly her life by running in and stabilizing him so he couldn't keep rolling on her, and then they just held him still until he relaxed and let her go," owner of Scales and Tails Shane Richins said.
Listen to our Exclusive Interview with Donnie Here:
The handler wrapped her legs around the gators mouth to keep it from being able to adjust its grip until it finally let go and another bystander pulled her out.
Donnie stayed in the enclosure, holding the gator down just as he had, to make sure it didn't come for him next.
The handler returned to coach Donnie through his own escape. He jumped out of the enclosure swiftly.
Read more at KSL