ESTERO, Fla (NewsNation Now) — A Florida man recently jumped into the water to rescue his puppy from the jaws of an alligator.
Richard Wilbanks of Estero said he was enjoying a beautiful fall day outside with his dog, Gunner, when all of a sudden he heard a cry for help from the puppy. An alligator in their backyard pond had Gunner in its grasp.
Video from the Florida Wildlife Federation shows Wilbanks jump into action to rescue the puppy. He walked away with a few cuts and said Gunner is doing well. The gator was removed from the property.
NewsNation spoke to Wilbanks Monday night after the video started going viral.
“I knew we had alligators in the pond, and I watch for them, but this one was under the water and just came out like a missile and grabbed Gunner,” Wilbanks recalled. “I didn’t even take time to think, I just jumped in the water and got the alligator and pried his jaws open to get this beautiful little puppy out!”
The federation stressed the video is a reminder that “all animals live together and there is no blame put on the alligator.”