Crocodile Attacks Handler In Australian Wildlife Park

An animal handler who owns a Queensland wildlife park was attacked by a crocodile during a show this weekend, suffering substantial injuries to his head and left hand.

The attack took place at the Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo, which is located near Childers, south of Bundaberg, according to the Daily Mail. Ian Jenkins, the 58-year-old owner of the park, was conducting a show with a crocodile on Sunday when the animal assaulted him. According to a spokesman for the RACQ Careflight Bundaberg rescue helicopter, which was dispatched to the scene, Jenkins was attempting to gain the crocodile’s attention while holding a chicken in his right hand.

“He’s taken his hat off and was holding his hat in his left hand, when the crocodile jumped up and grabbed his hat and his left hand,” the spokesman noted. “The crocodile has bitten his left hand and amputated his left thumb.”

Paramedics noted that Jenkins was lucky to be alive as the crocodile dragged him into the water and attempted to engage in a “death roll,” a maneuver the predators use to injure and kill prey. Jenkins’ left hand was torn down to the wrist, while he also suffered a head injury during the attack.

Jenkins’ wife, Barbara, told the ABC that the attack occurred because her husband misjudged the crocodile’s speed.

“It is as simple as Macca [the crocodile] took a swipe at him and actually connected,” she observed. “We had another person in the enclosure… if it wasn’t for her quick thinking getting the attention away from Ian it would have been worse.”

Jenkins has been injured by animals at the park before, surviving a venomous snakebite in 2010. He has been bitten multiple times by snakes housed at the park, though the incident five years ago was the most severe, requiring him to be treated with two doses of anti-venom.

Last month, a crocodile killed a 29-year-old man on a golf course in South Africa. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the man was attacked in waist deep water while he searched for lost golf balls on the bottom of a lake.

Jenkins is expected to undergo surgery on Sunday to repair some of the damage from the crocodile’s attack.

[Image via Visit Frasier Coast]