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Theresa Wiseman via Storyful

A zoo worker owes her life to a heroic zoo visitor who leaped into action when an 8-foot alligator attacked her.

The incident happened during a children's party at Scales and Tails reptile centre in West Valley City, Utah, on Saturday, Global News reports.

With the children watching behind a plexiglass barrier, the alligator grabbed a zookeeper's hand and dragged her into the tank.

Chilling cell phone video recorded by Theresa Wiseman shows her husband, Donnie Wiseman, shout, "We've got trouble here in here! We've got trouble!" He dived into the tank and threw himself on top of the alligator.

Wiseman wrestled the alligator as it attempted a death roll with the zookeeper's hand clamped in its powerful jaws.
 
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Other parents rushed the children away from the glass barrier. The gator thrashed around, then released the zookeeper's hand while a bystander pulled her out of the tank.

The gator continued to thrash around while the injured zookeeper gave Wiseman instructions on how to get away.

He then leaped off the gator and escaped from the tank enclosure.

Wiseman later told KUTV he was glad the zookeeper was there to instruct him.

"She was so professional and trained and knew what to do in a situation like that, I'm glad she was there," said Wiseman.

CAUTION: Video contains disturbing imagery. Viewer discretion advised.
 

 
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