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Video: Guests jump into enclosure to rescue handler bitten by alligator in Utah

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Posted at 11:12 AM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 14:12:51-04

WARNING: The video above is graphic and some may find it disturbing.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A handler at a Utah reptile and bird center was taken to the hospital over the weekend after she was bitten by an alligator as guests looked on. Two men were able to jump into the enclosure to help get the handler to safety.

Video from Scales and Tails Utah on Saturday shows the unidentified handler talking about the alligator before it grabs her left hand and pulls her into the water.

"We've got trouble in here," a guest, later identified as Donnie Wiseman, yells twice before jumping in the water and covering the alligator to help the woman. The handler then calmly directs Wiseman on the next steps that should be taken.

When the alligator begins to struggle, Wiseman secures the alligator as the handler is able to escape the pool with help from another man, Todd Christopher. The woman then explains to Wiseman how he should then exit the water.

"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," the company wrote on their Facebook page.

With the handler outside the pool, Todd's wife, Amy Christopher, was able to start first aid ahead of emergency crews arriving on the scene. The woman was taken to the hospital where Scales and Tails Utah says she "is doing well and is in recovery."

This story was originally published by Jeff Tavss at KSTU.