Florida man rescues his puppy from the jaws of an alligator

by Peter Heck · Nov 23rd, 2020 10:27 am
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Last Updated Nov 24th, 2020 at 9:34 am

A 74-year-old Florida man is being hailed as a legend for heroically jumping into a pond to rescue his puppy from the jaws of a small alligator.

Richard Wilbanks was sitting in the backyard of his Lee County, Florida, home when he heard splashing and the sound of his new puppy, Gunner, yelping. A small alligator had come out of a nearby pond, grabbed Gunner by the leg, and drug him into the water.

"It was just a shock," Wilbanks told a local news team. "It happened so fast. Instinct just took over and adrenaline kicked in and I just went right into the water after the gator and Gunner."

Surveillance video captured the entire scene as Wilbanks waded into the water, reached down, pulled the gator up, and pried its mouth open, freeing Gunner. As the 3-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel escaped, Wilbanks dropped the gator and walked out with just a few scrapes and cuts.

Wilbanks reported that Gunner will be just fine.

Perhaps most impressively, the cigar Wilbanks was smoking remained secure between his lips through the entire episode.


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