Florida man saves his puppy dragged into pond by alligator

A Florida man is drawing praise for valiantly saving his puppy from the jaws of an alligator.



a dog that is standing in the grass


© Provided by NBC News


Richard Wilbanks, 74, was just enjoying the sun when he heard his new puppy, Gunner, crying. A alligator in the backyard pond at his Lee County home had grabbed the dog and pulled it into the water.



a man holding a dog: Gunner licks Richard Wilbanks' face after Wilbanks rescued him from a gator's mouth. (WBBH)


© WBBH
Gunner licks Richard Wilbanks’ face after Wilbanks rescued him from a gator’s mouth. (WBBH)

Wilbanks, an avid hunter, reacted quickly, jumping into the pond, grabbing the small alligator and pulling its jaw open, so Gunner, a three-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, could escape, surveillance video of the rescue shows.

“It was just a shock, it happened so fast,” Wilbanks told NBC Fort Myers affiliate WBBH. “Instinct just took over and adrenaline kicked in and I just went right into the water after the gator and Gunner.”

Video:

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Florida man saves his dog from the jaws of an alligator; wildlife cam films the dramatic rescue

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Newly released footage shows a Florida man rescuing his dog from the grasp of an alligator, an unexpected moment captured on film by a project designed to monitor local wildlife.

An Estero man saves dog from alligator’s jaws, and his backyard camera caught it on film

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The dramatic video shows the man jumping into waist-deep pond water after the alligator dragged the dog underwater. The man submerges his whole arm to bring the small dog to the surface, with the small alligator still latched on.

The dog yelps as the man struggles to free it from the gator’s grasp, loudly grunting from the strain. After about 12 seconds, the man succeeds in freeing his pet, and it scampers ashore.

The organization that captured the video says the man and his dog are OK.

The footage was shot as part of 

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