Never smile at a crocodile. Or put your hand in its mouth – a lesson that was learned the hard way by this reptile handler in Thailand after he was attacked by a crocodile in front of horrified spectators.
The 45-year-old handler, called Tao, was performing a stunt with the agitated reptile at the Phokkathara Crocodile Farm and Zoo in Chiang Rai in Thailand’s northern region, in front of around 100 visitors on Sunday afternoon (29 July).
Whilst performing the strange trick – which was basically shoving his arm right down the poor crocodile’s throat and then tickling him with some sort of stick – Tao engaged with the audience as they watched in awe for his next ballsy move, much to the croc’s annoyance.
Then, all of a sudden, the reptile decided enough was enough and suddenly clamped its jaw down on Tao’s arm before shaking him vigorously from side to side – just like something a dog would do to one of your old shoes.
The audience were left horrified as Tao let out an agonising cream at the mercy of the cranky croc. Luckily, after a few seconds he was able to get free of the reptile’s grip and managed to scramble away from, holding his bloody arm close as blood spilled out and on to the floor.
Khun Phusawit, 35, who was visiting the zoo with his wife and children, managed to capture the terrifying incident. He said: “The show was very good until that happened. I hope that the may is okay and he gets better soon.
“Everybody was shocked when it happened. The kids were a little bit scared.
He added: “I’ve watched the clip back many times to see how it happened and the crocodile seems not to like having the hand in his mouth.”
Thankfully, Tao suffered no major injuries. Dong Wittawat, owner of the zoo, has said that Tao has been treated and is fine.
“He was treated at the farm with bandaging,” Mr Wittawat said.
“He loves crocodiles and will be working again soon in the next two weeks. It is very rare for this to happen.”