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Crocodile bites handler at Shoalhaven Zoo

Crocodile bites handler at Shoalhaven Zoo
July 8, 2014

An animal handler has been bitten by a crocodile during a live feeding at the Shoalhaven Zoo yesterday (Monday 7th July).

Witnessed by school holiday onlookers, crocodile handler Trent Burton was bitten on both hands during a feeding show.

Burton was using a piece of meat to lure John, a 3.7 metre saltwater crocodile, out of the enclosures pond when it lashed out and pulled him into the water.

Shoalhaven Zoo owner Nicholas Schilko told the ABC that around 60 people were watching the show at the time.

Schilko said the handler tried to lure the crocodile out of its enclosure pond for the show so that the pond could have its scheduled cleaning, but the crocodile would not move any further.

Schilko suggested said the handler may have been distracted and had his hand and the food too close to the crocodile when the attack happened.

He explained "as soon as his hand was free, he basically popped up and launched himself out of the water.

"From eyewitness accounts they reckon he was like a spring; he rocketed straight up out of there."

Schilko added that the audience was shocked by the attack.

After the attack, Burton was treated at the Zoo by ambulance paramedics and walked to the ambulance to be taken to Shoalhaven District Hospital.

Burton has been working with the crocodiles at Shoalhaven Zoo for more than a decade.

Click here to view the Shoalhaven Zoo website.

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