3:06 PM PDT, September 13, 2021
A Utah animal handler who survived a gator attack last month is speaking out to Inside Edition about the harrowing ordeal.
Video shows a gator bite down on 31-year-old Lindsay Bull’s hand during feeding time at Scales and Tails, a reptile and animal zoo, in West Valley City, as children at a birthday party looked on.
Bull recalls trying to get the 8.5-foot alligator, named Darth Gator, to back up, when he suddenly clamped down on her wrist.
Bull jumped into the glass enclosure to get better leverage. Then, the gator whipped the trainer underwater in what’s known as a “death roll.”
At the time, everyone assumed Bull was dragged into the tank, but she now reveals that she jumped in purposely, thinking it was the best way to fight against the dreaded death roll.
“My main objective at that point was to get into the enclosure with him, so that I could freely roll at the same time,” Bull said.
Then, recalling moves she learned from years of gymnastics, Bull rolled with the alligator to prevent further injury.
“That’s a common thing in gymnastics, that you twist while you’re flipping and that was exactly — I just dropped my shoulder the same way you would doing a twist in a flip,” Bull said.
She said that losing her arm was her biggest fear. “I just wanted to do whatever I could to mitigate the damage,” Bull said.
As Bull struggled, a fearless dad leapt into the enclosure and pinned the alligator down until Bull could be pulled to safety.
“He’s just the greatest. Even with a lot of training, it takes a lot of courage to get in there and do that. He did not hesitate,” Bull said.
As Bull returned to work, she removed her bandage to reveal her injuries to Inside Edition. The gator ruptured 80% of the tendon in her arm, but she’s already making progress since her surgery last month and is expected to make a full recovery.