JUST weeks after being attacked by Shoalhaven Zoo’s resident 3.7m crocodile, Johnny, handler Trent Burton is back at work, venturing into the big croc’s enclosure last Sunday to perform his show for the first time since the incident.
The handler shot to international fame after his dramatic attack during a school holiday show on July 7.
Mr Burton said he didn’t feel any trepidation getting back into the enclosure.
“My heart was pumping but that was more due to being in front of a crowd,” he said.
“He came out beautifully, walked out well. There was a bumper crowd and beautiful weather for a winter’s day.
“As soon as he walked out I knew it was business as usual.
“It was good to get back and do something I love, showing the crowd the real animal.”
Mr Burton said he was interested to see what response he would get from Johnny.
“Would he be coy of me after I fell on his head or would he come out with great gusto looking for round two, thinking this guy is far sillier than I thought for the last 10 years?,” he said.
Despite still wearing a brace on his badly damaged left hand, Mr Burton said getting back to work provides “some normality” about his life.
“My hand is remarkably well – there are a lot of different scenarios that could have played out, including not being here, not having a hand, not having an arm,” he said.
“But to look at it and see how little scarring there is, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
He has a number of titanium screws and plates in his hand, along with needing a repair to an artery, and it is still very swollen.