An animal trainer who was attacked by an alligator during a child’s birthday celebration over the weekend was saved by a brave bystander who jumped onto the gator’s back. Lindsay Bull, trainer of four years at Scales and Tails in Salt Lake City, Utah was feeding the 8 1/2-foot male alligator when the reptile attacked her on Saturday (August 14), NBC News reports.
Bull said she planned on feeding the gator, whose name fittingly is Darth Gator, and had opened his enclosure when he began acting aggressively. She grabbed under his lower jaw and pushed him back, “something I’ve done lots of times before,” she said. That’s when he pushed back, snatched her hand and “really bit down.” “I can’t tell you what exactly happened,” the gator handler said.
In a cellphone video of the attack, Bull is seen entering the enclosure with her hand reaching straight out, which the gator gets a hold on and clamps down on her hand, dragging her into the water with him. One man who was there with his family yells, “Hey, we’ve got trouble!” and then jumps on top of the alligator after failing to release Bull’s hand from his mouth.
Bull wrestled with the gator and was eventually able to wrap her legs around him with the help of Donnie Wiseman pinning down the reptile. About a minute later, Bull was able to remove her hand from Darth Gator’s mouth while Wiseman was still lying on top of the gator’s back.
Wiseman remained on top of the alligator for about another minute, impressively staying calm and dominant while the gator thrashed about. Then, he quickly leaped out of the enclosure when there was a good opportunity to do so.
Bull called Wiseman a hero, but added that she didn’t want people to think the gator was a “mindless killing machine.”
“What happened was an accident,” Bull said. “I’m so much more to blame than Darth Gator.”
The owner of Scales and Tails, Shane Richins, said she suffered an injury to her tendon and bone chip but is recovering.
You can watch a video of the attack below: