The alligator pulled the handler into an enclosure during a presentation at Scales & Tails in Salt Lake City.
Footage filmed by a guest at the party shows the reptile struggling with the keeper’s hand and turning as she struggles to break free.
A visitor, Donnie Wiseman, screamed for help then jumped into the water, climbing on top of the reptile.
Mr Wiseman yelled “we have problems here” before the dog handler gave him and another guest, Todd Christopher, instructions to help him escape the vise.
The children watched before being taken away by another guest.
Mr Wiseman remained on the reptile until the handler was free and Mr Christopher’s wife, who is trained in nursing, provided first aid until emergency teams arrived.
The manager underwent surgery after Saturday’s incident and “is doing well” according to Scales & Tails.
Shane Richins, the owner of the business, said the manager was opening the pen to feed the alligator as usual, but the reptile “got a little braver.”
He said the center normally has a strict policy for a second manager to be nearby when employees are working with the alligators, but this has not been enforced in recent years if the worker does not consider entering. the enclosure, he said.
“We always apply it strictly whenever someone walks in with the alligator, but, of course, in the future, we will resume applying it strictly to any interaction with the alligator for this very reason,” a Mr. Richins said.
The company thanked Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Christopher for their help with a Facebook post.
“Their help, combined with the training of our staff member, probably saved his life and his limbs,” they said.