It’s not his first brush with death; the experienced reptile handler was bitten on the lip by a rattlesnake at the Australian Reptile Park in 2004.

However, Mr Burton may have been able to avoid the croc incident if he had kept his hands further away from the croc.

Speaking to the Aussie Daily Telegraph, Shoalhaven Zoo owner Nick Schilko, said: “I’m not going to sugar-coat it – it could have been fatal. Trent did something he shouldn’t have done. You can’t reach back into a crocodile’s mouth.”

Footage of the attack shows the croc grab Mr Burton’s left hand then drag him away as frightened onlookers scream. Mr Burton managed to break free and jump over a fence to safety. He later received surgery in Sydney.

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