An elderly man from Florida recently fought an alligator to save his puppy from certain death. A wildlife camera captured the whole incident.
Richard Wilbanks, a 74-year-old resident of Estero, Florida, was taking a walk with his dog named Gunner next to the backyard fishpond when a young alligator jumped right out of the water, grabbed the 3-month-old puppy, and started pulling it into the water.
Wilbanks immediately jumped into the water and wrestled the alligator with bravery that even the late Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, would be envious of.
“We were just out walking by the pond,” Wilbanks told CNN, “and it came out of the water like a missile. I never thought an alligator could be that fast.
It was so quick.” He said that the adrenaline immediately kicked in, and he impulsively jumped into the water to fight off the beast.
The hard part of the battle was forcing the animal’s jaws open. The brave retiree first grabbed the alligator and carried it out to dry land. Then he pushed his hands into the animal’s mouth and started applying force to open it.
He managed to open the mouth wide enough for puppy Gunner to be able to flee. The pup escaped with just one puncture wound, but his owner’s hands had multiple bite marks and injuries.
The skirmish was captured by a wildlife camera put there by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation. The objective is to capture videos of wildlife for their campaign called Sharing The Landscape. It intends to help people understand and acknowledge the flora and fauna they live near to.