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Toothless crocodile bites keeper

Sydney (AP) - A game handler at a tourist wildlife park survived being bitten by a 3/4 ton crocodile, saying "I'm bloody glad he's got no teeth!" as she was pulled from its jaws.

Karla Bredl, 21, suffered a broken left thigh and deep lacerations in the attack last Friday, which happened moments after she fed a saltwater crocodile named Solomon in front of tourists.

Ms Bredl was still heavily sedated and said to be in a serious condition yesterday at the Mackay Base Hospital, which is just south of the Barefoot Bushman's Wildlife Park at Cannonvale near the Whitsunday Islands in north-east Australia, where the attack happened.

Her uncle, Rob Bredl, told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper of Sydney that when the attack came, "Karla's dad, Joe, jumped on the croc's back and stuck his thumbs in its eyes to make it let go. As they pulled her out, she said: `I'm bloody glad he's got no teeth!'

"Just before it happened, she was joking with the crowd. She said, `If I ever get grabbed, I'd rather it be this one, because he's got no teeth from fighting other crocs.' Then she slipped, and it was on her," he said.

"It's funny," Mr Bredl recalled. "Karla was just kidding around the other day, saying, `I want a scar. I want a scar'."

The crocodile is about 14.5 feet (4m) long. Although it has few teeth left in its mouth, its jaws are powerful enough to crush bone.

"In the wild, they just smash their jaws together and they can easily break a bullock's leg," Mr Bredl said.