Rescue
Kids birthday party takes a turn when gator clamps down on handler so brave dad jumps into action
Had the brave bystander not taken action the outcome for the woman would have been very different.
Rebecca Reid
09.22.21

Hey, we got trouble here!

These are the last words you want to hear especially at a child’s birthday party. Donnie Wiseman, 48, was visiting the Scales and Tails in West Valley City, Utah with a group of kids and adults when a near tragedy took place. The alligator in the enclosure had clamped down on the handler and dragged her into the water. Wiseman yelled those words to get help but he was the one who ended up saving the day.

Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah
Source:
Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah

The shocking ordeal happened right in front of the children and adults.

An 8.5-foot-long alligator by the name of “Darth Gator,” was moving a little too close to the door of the enclosure so the handler, 31-year-old Lindsay Bull, nudged him back toward the water. This didn’t go over very well as “Darth Gator” grabbed a hold of Bull’s hand and started pulling her into the water.

Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah
Source:
Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah

It definitely was horrific…a normal training routine, something that I’ve done a bunch of different times.” – Lindsay Bull

Wiseman jumped into action and started yelling for help when the alligator pulled Lindsay into the water after grabbing her left hand. She made every attempt to stop him but the alligator failed to respond to her commands. Lindsay, a handler of 4 years was being pulled into a ‘death roll.’

Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah
Source:
Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah

“At that point, I kind of knew that it was serious. You have two choices, you either stay out and he’s going to rip your arm off or you go in and there’s a chance that you can keep it.” – Lindsay Bull told Fox 13

Wiseman asked Lindsay what he needed to do to help her and she calmly gave him direction.

She told him to get on top of the alligator to prevent it from rolling. He didn’t hesitate and began to wrestle the alligator till it could no longer move.

Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah
Source:
Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah

“When it rolled her she was just very scared, I’ve never seen anything like it.” – Wiseman told Fox 13

Lindsay and Wiseman both remained calm and waited for the alligator to release her hand. All the while, Wiseman was getting direction from Lindsay on how to safely proceed. Eventually “Darth Gator” released Bull’s hand and one of the party guests pulled her out of the enclosure to safety. She owes her escape to Wiseman and his brave reaction to a very stressful situation.

“I cannot express enough gratitude.” – Lindsay Bull told Fox 13

Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah
Source:
Youtube screensht - Fox13NewsUtah

With Lindsay’s clear and calm instruction, Wiseman was able to quickly escape the enclosure with little to no injury.

While they waited for EMTs to arrive, a parent with medical experience looked after Lindsay. Scales and Tails posted about the ordeal of their Facebook page.

“We want to send a huge shoutout to Donnie Wiseman and Todd & Amy Christopher! We want to thank them for their heroism. Working with some of these animals has inherent risks that we as the staff accept.

“Yesterday, the sort of event that we hope never happens happened. One of our gator handlers got bitten by our large alligator and things took a bad turn. 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.”

“Mrs. Christopher had a nursing background and started first aid prior to the EMT’s arrival and we thank her for that as well. Our staff member is doing well and is in recovery.” – Scales and Tales Facebook

Many have asked us about Darthgator and what will happen to him. While he continues to be under our care, no harm will…

Posted by Scales and Tails Utah onWednesday, August 18, 2021

Lindsay will be back working at Scales and Tails as soon as she is able.

If you thought Lindsay’s handler days were over, think again. She isn’t deterred at all from doing what she loves and she has no hate in her heart for “Darth Gator.”

“I love “Darth Gator,” I’ll be back there working as soon as I can.” – Lindsay Bull told Fox 13

Happy World Croc Day!!.#worldcrocday #scalesandtailsutah #crocodile #moreletscrocodile #reptilesofinstagram

Posted by Scales and Tails Utah onThursday, June 17, 2021

Now watch harrowing rescue caught on video.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Share this article
By Rebecca Reid
hi@sbly.com
Rebecca Reid is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement