LOCAL NEWS

Man Reacts To Jumping On Alligator, Helping Trainer Who Was Bit

Aug 16, 2021, 10:32 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — When an alligator attacked its trainer at a reptile petting zoo in West Valley City, a guest named Donnie Wiseman jumped in to save her, without hesitation.

He’s now being called a hero, but Wiseman said the trainer, Lindsay Bull, actually deserves all the credit.

“I don’t know what that is, maybe his claw,” Wiseman said as he showed his battle wounds.

Wiseman almost didn’t go to Scales and Tails on Saturday, but, as a reptile enthusiast, he decided at the last minute to go to the party, which was for a family friend’s 5-year-old child.

“This was just a 5-year-old birthday party,” he said. “We were just doing kid stuff.”

The party was a private event at the reptile petting zoo.

One of the crowd pleasers was “Darth Gator,” the 11-year old, 8.5-foot-long, 150-pound alligator.

Wiseman said he was looking forward to seeing the alligator up close, although he didn’t yet know how close he would actually be.

Right when trainer Lindsay Bull started feeding the reptile, it snapped her hand and pulled her into the water, eventually putting her in a death roll.

Wiseman couldn’t believe his eyes. He started yelling for help, but no one came. So, he jumped in.

“All of a sudden, Donnie was up there on the platform, yelling, ‘What do you want me to do? What do you want me to do?’” recalled Bull.

He said he could tell she was a highly-trained professional, and although he was nervous, too, he knew she needed help.

“In the video, you can see I get in and I’m kind of like, thinking in my head, ‘Alright, here we are,’” said Wiseman. “I said something like, ‘What do I need to know,’ and she said, ‘Talk to me.’”

After close to a minute, the reptile released her hand and she was able to get out of the enclosure, but Wiseman was still inside, straddling the gator.

“I thought to myself, you know, once I get her free, I’ve got him by the neck, he shouldn’t be able to get me, right?”

His wife, Theresa, was filming the whole thing and thinking the same thing.

“Honestly, the most terrifying thing for me was once she was out, suddenly I realized, ‘Oh my goodness, he’s in there alone,'” Theresa said.

After Bull was pulled from the enclosure, guests stepped in again, helping bandage her hand and get her to the hospital.

After a few moments, and at Bull’s direction, Wiseman jumped off the gator and out of the enclosure.

Wiseman said her quick thinking, expertise and professionalism saved everyone there.

“Thanks to her, her bravery, her resourcefulness, her knowledge, her professionalism — she got herself out of the tank and myself without any more harm being done,” he said.

Bull said she doesn’t know why Darth Gator clamped down, but she does know Donnie saved her.

She told KSL’s Dan Rascon her hand is expected to make a full recovery and “she can’t wait” to get back to work.

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Man Reacts To Jumping On Alligator, Helping Trainer Who Was Bit