Crocodile drags Australian zoo handler into water during feeding show

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A 3.7m crocodile has dragged a handler into the water at a school holiday feeding show at a NSW north coast zoo.

The man was feeding male croc John, the biggest at the Shoalhaven Zoo at Nowra, when he was bitten on the hand and pulled into the water about 12.30 pm.

"We transported a male in his 30s to Shoalhaven Hospital in a stable condition with a minor hand injury," an ambulance spokesman said.

Shaken elderly witness Marlene Orr, who's seen crocs in the wild and at Australia Zoo, told Fairfax Media it was "the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life."

Another onlooker said; "He was feeding him meat and the crocodile took it before the designated area to be fed and so the trainer went to grab it out of the crocodile's mouth and the crocodile just grabbed the trainer and put him to the ground and dragged him to the water.

"Then the trainer got free, jumped out of the water and had puncture holes to his hand."

The zoo's owner said the injured handler had been working with crocodiles for more than a decade and fed John daily.

"It's an attack and that is serious, but thankfully the injuries aren't life threatening, which it certainly had the potential to be," he said.

"He's more disappointed with himself that it happened."

Further detail is being sought from the zoo.

- AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 23 Aug 2014 07:34:30 Processing Time: 36ms