Fred Boyce thought he knew what he was doing, but when he approached the gator, it viciously attacked him, nearly ripping off his arm.

In the video below, he hurls a towel over the reptile’s head to block its vision then creeps up on it from behind, placing one leg on either side of it and leans down.

The animal whips spins round, brabbing ahold of Boyce’s arm.

Boyce was rushed to the hospital to be treated and officials from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission managed to subdue the beast and return it to the wild.

Boyce, a herpetologist at the nearby Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, is an expert on amphibians and reptiles.

His Facebook page includes photographs of him taking part in gator ’round-ups’ and handling other dangerous creatures.

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