A retired man jumped into a lake and wrestled with his puppy from the face of an alligator, and the dramatic event was recorded on camera.


Richard Wilbanks rescued Puppy Gunner from the chin of an alligator. Florida Wildlife Federation / fSTOP Foundation
  • A retiree rescued his 3-month-old puppy from the jaw of an alligator.

  • Charles Cavalier King Spaniel, Gunner, was caught by the creature from Lake Estero, Florida, and the dramatic event was recorded by a surveillance camera.

  • Wilbanks told CNN that his natural instinct had taken over and he immediately went into the water to free the kid.

  • The insider was told that both the dog and the owner are doing well but staying away from the water.

  • Visit the Insider website for more news.

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A Florida retired man rescued his puppy from under the jaws of an alligator, the event was recorded by a camera.

Richard Wilbanks, 74, said the instinct took the direction after 3-month-old Charles Cavalier King Spaniel Gunner was snatched by an alligator in October.

The event, which took place in Wilbanks’s backyard lake, Estero, was recorded with a surveillance camera as part of a partnership between the Florida Wildlife Association (FWF) and the fSTOP Foundation. The project is called Sharing the Ladnscape, and Wilbanks is one of the participating homeowners, FWF confirmed to Insider.

In the dramatic footage, Wilbanks reaches his waist in the water, estimating the chin of the alligator so that Gunner can run free. It was filmed in late October, but has only just been discovered, Meredith Budd, regional policy director for the Florida Wildlife Federation, told Insider.

“We were just walking out by the lake and it came out of the water like a rocket,” Wilbanks told CNN. “I never thought an alligator could be that fast.” It was so fast. I just jumped into the water automatically.

Opening the alligator’s mouth was “extremely difficult,” Wilbanks said, and his hand was “chewed.” He then went to the doctor for a tetanus shot.

Gunner was also taken to the vet after the incident – a puncture wound remained in his abdomen, but he was fine anyway.

“They’re like kids to us, so there was no other idea,” Wilbanks told Wink News.

The cameras that capture the event are mainly watching bobs and deer to help people better understand and appreciate the wildlife.

“We live in beautiful southwest Florida, and wildlife is part of what makes this region so unique,” ​​Budd told Insider. “And the ultimate goal of this project is to develop a tool that can help educate people about wildlife and hopefully reduce the likelihood of conflicts like this.”

He continued, “I talked to the homeowners and after the meeting they are still just as passionate about the wilds and they still appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. I also think they have a deeper respect for the shared wilds. from now on they will search back there. “

Wilbanks agrees that alligators are part of nature and says he will indeed keep Gunner on a leash and well behind the water’s edge from now on.

“Our pets, they’re like family to us,” he said.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), small dogs and cats are about the size of alligators ’natural prey, so care must be taken.

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