A man rescued a dog from an alligator’s deadly grip by prying open its mouth to free the dog. A video of the rescue surfaced on social media channels; the incident occurred in Florida and was captured on a wildlife camera (the date stamp displayed in the video: 10/25/2020).
In the clip, the man is seen waist deep in a pond and is attempting to pull the alligator to the surface of the water and pry open its jaws. He wrestles the reptile to the shoreline and continues his efforts as the small brown and white dog is yelping. After a few agonizing seconds, the man manages to free the dog. The dog is seen getting up and scrambling to safety.
Redditor PussyWhistle (who posted the Tiktok version of video on reddit) says that the original poster revealed that the dog is fine. He mentioned that such encounters happen quite often in Florida but that this time it “happened to be caught on a wildlife camera.”
A day later, it was verified by news stations that the man and the dog are doing okay.
Richard Wilbanks is the pet owner in the video and he told WINK News that the alligator “just came out like a missile” and grabbed his dog Gunner. He says he acted on instinct and jumped in after them to save his dog. “They’re like children to us, so there was no second thought whatsoever, Wilbanks said.
Wilbanks said Gunner had one small puncture wound but is doing well. Wilbanks’ hands got “chewed up” in the encounter. Wilbanks says Gunner is a little more cautious around the water since the attack. Wilbanks also added that he plans to walk Gunner away from the water and on a leash on any walks going forward.
The video was captured by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation.
As disclaimers on the TikTok video say, what Wilbanks did could result in serious injury. However, as others have commented, “Never underestimate a human’s love for their pets.”
Last year, a similar incident happened in Florida when a man saved his daughter’s Golden Retriever from a seven foot alligator.