An alligator handler got wrangled in by the creature she was hired to control -- but before things turned deadly ... some on-the-spot heroics by zoo guests saved the day.
An unidentified employee of Scales and Tails Utah -- who was in charge of showing off one of the facility's gators to paying customers -- got ensnared in the animal's teeth as it clamped down on her hand, and barrel-rolled her!!!
It was a freaky scene ... the woman looked like she was about to become alligator food Saturday, right there in front of horrified zoo goers -- that is, until a guy named Donnie Wiseman literally threw himself into the mix ... jumping on the gator's back.
He was, fortunately, able to get it to stop rolling, and then the handler instructed him on what to do next -- sounds like she was taking steps to prevent herself from having a panic attack ... and, finally, the gator loosened its grip, and another guest pulled her to safety.
That left Wiseman on top of the gator by himself, and the handler stuck around to walk him through how to get out of the sitch. Eventually, he escaped unscathed.
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The worker was hospitalized, but is recovering. As for DW ... bona fide HERO!!!