A man from Florida didn’t hesitate to risk his own life to save the life of his beloved puppy when it was snatched by an alligator from a pond’s shore. The poor pup was dragged underwater by an alligator in the blink of an eye.
The entire encounter was caught by a nearby trail cam.
Richard Wilbanks, 74 years old from Estero, Florida, said that his instincts and adrenaline kicked in when an alligator shot out of the pond just outside his backyard “like a missile” and snatched his three-month-old puppy, Gunner.
Nearby security cameras set up by Florida Wildlife Federation and the STOP Foundation captured footage of the entire rescue, which, thankfully, ended with Gunner being freed from the alligator’s sharp teeth.
According to Wilbanks, dogs are like children, and that we must have no second thoughts when something happens to them.
The courageous puppy parent told CNN that grabbing the gator wasn’t the hard part, but prying open his jaws to free Gunner was the “extremely hard” part.
Miraculously, both Gunner and Richard were mostly unchanged. Gunner only suffered a single puncture wound to his stomach treated by a local veterinarian. In contrast, Richard suffered several cuts to his hands and went to a doctor for a tetanus shot.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) encouraged pet owners to take precautions near bodies of water. In a statement to the news network, WINK, they said that dogs and cats were similar in size to alligators’ natural prey. They encouraged pet owners not to allow their pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators. Pet owners need to keep their dogs on a short leash and away from the water.
Richard says he’ll still take his puppy for walks along their favorite route, but he will always have him on a leash. He also says that they’ll stay at least 10-feet from the water’s edge.
Screenshot from winknews.com