An alligator wrangler was almost pulled into a “death roll” in front of dozens of spectators at a Florida gator park, and was lucky to escape with his hand still in tact.
Will Nace was performing tricks with a 900 pound, 13 foot alligator, on Saturday when the 22-year-old volunteer was working at the Native Village wildlife sanctuary in Hollywood, Florida, when the incident occurred.
The beast then attacked Mr Nace, clamping down on his arm in front of just over a dozen of spectators. Nace somehow managed to pry his hand out of the animal’s mouth, and managed to escape with just some broken bones.
Nace told WSVN-TV that his “hand happened to be right in front of [the alligator’s] face, so it lunged up, grabbed my hand and bent it backwards and bit down.”
Ian Tyson, the co-owner of the Native Village and a fellow handler of alligators, defended the animal, stating, “It wasn’t the alligator’s fault. [Will found] himself in that situation. He knows that this is a wild animal that he’s dealing with. He got himself into a bad spot.”
A “lunge alligator” performance sees the handler tap the animal on the nose whilst situated in front of the deadly beast. Nace is very experienced in this field, having been performing these kind of events four times a day for the last 12 months.
Nace went on to state that the alligator was behaving differently on Saturday though. Nace remarked, “He ended up lunging at me before I got to his nose,” with Tyson adding, “The alligator lunged out of the water… and when this happened, [Nace] wasn’t able to back himself out of the way quickly enough.”
Once the alligator had hold of Nace’s arm he then began to retreat into the water, and then attempted to go into a “death roll,” however he knew how to escape from the perilous situation.
Nace stated, “I held on, basically, because he decided to roll one way. He pulled me back all the way in the water, rolled with me. I was completely submerged underwater with him, and then by the time he came back… out of the water, he’d let go.”
The alligator ultimately let go, but only after he’d broken his arm in two place. He’d even ripped open his skin from the middle of his arm to his palm. Nace doesn’t blame the alligator though, stating that he just wasn’t on his “A game yesterday.”
[Image via Jo Crebbin/Shutterstock]