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Posted by W von Papinešu on May 08, 2003 at 21:05:44:
ORLANDO SENTINEL (Florida) 08 May 03 Wrestling reptile bites man's face at Gatorland
One of Gatorland's 7-foot alligators bit its handler on the face Wednesday afternoon as the man was working in the park's famed Gator Wrestling Show.
The accident took place at the south Orange County attraction's 800-seat arena, just before alligator trainer Nathan Sweeting, 26, was preparing for the show, said Lt. Joy Hill, spokeswoman for the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Sweeting of Kissimmee was in fair condition with a gash in the face at Orlando Regional Medical Center. The alligator trainer has four years of experience handling the large reptiles as an entertainer at the park, Gatorland spokeswoman Michelle Harris said.
"[Nathan Sweeting] is smiling and in good spirits," Harris said. "He'll probably need some stitches."
The attraction will conduct an internal investigation. The alligator was not aggressive and will not be destroyed, Harris said. Gatorland reported the bite to Fish and Wildlife, in accordance with state regulations. Fish and Wildlife has no plans to cite the attraction, Hill said.