An alligator attacked an animal trainer in Utah during a birthday celebration. Two men jumped right after her in the tank to save her life.
At Scales and Tails, an animal handler commanded the alligator to go back into the tank after the show end. While the guests watched through the glass door, the alligator grasped the trainer’s hand and pulled her into the tank.
With her hand in the mouth, the alligator twisted and tossed into its deep-water enclosure. Theresa Wiseman, one of the guests, captured the full incident.
Donies Wiseman, spouse of the woman who filmed the incident, and another guest Todd Christopher jumped into the tank to rescue the trainer. While Wiseman jumped on the alligator’s back, Todd wrestled with the alligator and tried to open its jaw to rescue the trainer’s hand.
A few moments later, the alligator released the trainer’s hand, and she immediately made her way out of the tank. Wiseman stayed in his place as he asked for the instructions to safely get off the alligator’s back. Eventually, both the rescuers and the trainers safely got out of the tank and reached a safe place behind the glass door.
When the company owner Shane Richins, was interviewed about the event, he said that the trainer was feeding the alligator that’s why she opened the enclosure, but unfortunately, the animal “got a little extra spurky” and attacked her.
He said the company has a policy that whenever the trainer is dealing with the alligator or opens the enclosure, a second trainer has to be with her. However, in recent years the policy has not been fully enforced, especially for the situations when the handler does not go in the tank.
He further added,
“We still enforce it strictly whenever somebody gets in with the gator but, of course, going forward, we will be back to strictly enforcing it with any interactions with the gator for that very reason.”
Day after that incident, Wiseman, one of the men who rescued the trainer, commented on the company
“To the staff at Scales and Tails, thank you for having such skilled and brave people workin’ in that environment saved us both.”
Later, a guest Amy Christopher who has nursing experience treated the trainer. She underwent surgery and is now in a recovery phase, said Richins.