Alligator attacks handler at Cuyahoga County Fair

This show has been traveling the fair circuit since 1982 WITHOUT incident and at one point; maybe even now, so popular that there has been more than one unit of expert alligator handlers educating and wrestling the gators. The show is very well done and of great success for 3 decades. I hope Dan recovers and the the show continues.

Alligator attacks handler at Cuyahoga County Fair

BEREA — A live alligator demonstration at the Cuyahoga County Fair took an unexpected turn Thursday as a handler found his arm stuck in the animal’s jaws.

The attack involving “Kachunga & the Alligator Show” was captured on video and has since been posted on YouTube.

(Warning: Some may find the video below disturbing)

In an attempt to show how they can catch the alligator in its shallow pool, the handler, identified as Dan, slipped while circling the lunging animal and fell to his knees. That’s when the gator quickly twisted its head back in the sloshing water and bit down on Dan’s arm.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” one woman shrieks, as others scream in horror.

The gator show’s announcer dropped his microphone and rushed to Dan’s side to help release the gator’s grip. After approximately 21 seconds, Dan’s arm was free and he dashed out of the pool.

The announcer calmly returned to the small stage, picked up the microphone and said, “Well folks, these things happen. Dan’s gonna go get some medical care.”

That mishap came after the crowd watched a stunt in which Dan successfully placed his hand inside the gator’s wide-open mouth twice.

Since the incident, the live show has been shut down. Officials with the Cuyahoga County Fair have issued the following statement:

Due to circumstances beyond our control and based upon current circumstances associated with animal exhibits, the Fair Board in cooperation with safety officials, has determined that the alligator show is unable to continue at this week’s Fair.  The Fair Board has and will continue to monitor all associated safety risks associated with exhibits and displays.

As it does every year, the Fair Board continues to do its best to provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all fairgoers, exhibitors and employees.  Your understanding of this decision made by the Fair Board in the best interest of the public is appreciated.

The website for Kachunga & the Alligator Show says it began in 1982 as a public-awareness program. Their site describes the show by saying: “The mystique of these giant reptiles is in itself a big draw. Now imagine the thrill of watching a man pit his strength and agility against nine feet 300 Ibs. of lashing tail and gnashing jaws in a dangerous dance of reflexes and cunning. Kachunga’s struggle with the alligator keeps each member of the audience on the edge of their seat biting their nails and curling their toes.”

The Cuyahoga County Fair continues in Berea through Aug. 12.


~ by topcatsroar on August 12, 2012.

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