Scales and Tails Utah fined by OSHA for failing to report alligator attack


Lindsay Bull interacts with the alligator that bit her at Scales and Tails Utah. Photo credit: Instagram/lindsay_bull.

Scales and Tails Utah, the roadside zoo where a woman was violently bitten by an alligator last August, has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to report the incident.


The alligator bite happened August 14, 2021, and a bystander captured it on video. The video shows Lindsay Bull, an animal trainer at Scales and Tails, preparing to feed an alligator during a show for visitors, when the alligator latches onto her hand and drags her into its enclosure.


Another bystander jumped into the water and got on top of the alligator to try to get it to release her. Once Bull was freed, she remained by the side of the enclosure instructing the bystander on how to get off of the alligator without being injured.


Bull was taken to the hospital. Surgeons were able to save her arm.


Scales and Tails owner Shane Richins told the Associated Press that the roadside zoo’s protocol is for staff to have a second handler present when working with alligators, but they haven’t been enforcing that policy if the employee isn’t entering the enclosure.


Roadside Zoo News reported the incident to OSHA. In November, OSHA cited Scales and Tails for failing to report the incident themselves, which is a violation of OSHA regulations.

“Regardless of size or type of operation, accidents and fatalities must be reported,” according to Utah Administrative Code.


Scales and Tails Utah was fined $500 for the violation. A video posted on Bull’s Instagram account in December indicates she is back to entering the enclosure of the alligator that bit her to feed it by hand.