An alligator wrestler who is known to fans as the "Swampmaster" has been hospitalised after being bitten by a 2.4 metre long alligator while performing before a live audience.
45-year-old Jeff Quattrocchi was in the middle of an afternoon performance at the Cotee River Seafood Festival in Florida yesterday when the reptile bit into his right arm.
Mr Quattrocchi was airlifted to a St Petersburg medical centre and was later reported to be in a stable position.
A police spokesman told the St Petersburg Times Mr Quattrocchi would undergo surgery for his injuries, while Fox News reported that the alligator would not be put down.
Mr Quattrocchi has acknowledged the dangers of his profession, but a Myspace posting showed he enjoyed the thrill.
"Considering events in my life over the past several years, I'm lucky to be alive! I work with 8 foot, 200 (plus) lb. grumpy alligators who would love to take a chunk out of me at any time," he wrote.
"I bow to no man or beast, but respect all who rock before me."
- NZ HERALD ONLINE