Alligator bites handler at Utah sanctuary, as guests jump in to help

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A handler at a Utah petting zoo nearly lost her hand over the weekend after getting bit by an alligator while in an enclosure. 

The harrowing few minutes were caught on camera by Theresa Wiseman, a spectator, as the incident at Scales and Tails in West Valley City unfolded on Saturday. 

In the video, the handler, Linsay Bull, can be seen engaging with an alligator, Darth Gator, who perches himself up on a platform. Bull gestures for the gator to go back into the water, but he clamps on to her hand and tugs at her. 

Bull is pulled into the water and scuffles with the Darth to avoid having her hand torn off. That’s when another bystander, Donnie Wiseman, shouts to other staff members for help and leaps into the water to wrestle the gator. 

At one point the gator struggles, loosening his grip on Bull’s hand, allowing another bystander, Todd Christopher, to pull her out of the pool. Wiseman continues to press his weight down on the gator before managing to jump out of the enclosure. 

Christopher’s wife administered first aid on Bull while waiting for emergency crews to arrive on the scene, Salt Lake City’s FOX 13 reported. Bull, who has been with Scales and Tails Utah for three-and-a-half years, was taken to a hospital to be treated for her wounds. 

“I cannot express enough gratitude to both of those men, Donnie and Todd, that were right there, supporting me through,” Bull told the outlet. 

On Monday, Bull said she had undergone surgery and will likely retain full use of her hand once she heals. 

Scales and Tails Utah has thanked the people who helped Bull get through the ordeal. 

“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,” it said. 

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