Shocking footage has emerged showing the moment a crocodile handler in Australia was savagely attacked by a crocodile during a regular feeding show. Renee Robertson, 25, sustained a significant arm injury but is expected to make a full recovery after surgery.

Robertson was acting as a 'spotter' during the feeding at Billabong sanctuary in north Queensland when the 2.5m long female lunged at her. Robertson tried to defend herself but the reptile pulled her to the ground before the other keeper managed to beat it away with a pole. An ambulance was called and Robertson was rushed to Townsville Hospital.

Onlookers said that Robertson was lucky it wasn't the male, which is twice the size, that did not attack her. Sanctuary officials and Workplace Health and Safety officers will be investigating the incident although the sanctuary already said that the crocodile will not be euthanised.

"We're very, very fortunate that she's going to fully recover," said a Townsville Hospital spokesperson. Eight witnesses to the attack during the feeding show were treated for shock.

Bob Flemming, the owner of the Billabong sanctuary, told the Courier Mail that there hadn't been an attack at the animal park for more than 20 years: "It was a very unfortunate incident and one that we're very sad about... we'll review our training procedures and make sure it never happens again."

Robertson was six months into her training and had yet to start working with the larger male crocodiles but she was said to be very competent in her role with the female crocs.

"There was no nerve damage, so that was the best news we could have had," Flemming added of Robertson's injuries.