Most folks don’t think of themselves as being particularly brave, but when it comes to defending a loved one such as a child or pet, many find courage they never knew they had. However, could you imagine jumping into the water to wrestle an alligator to save your pet? Well, a 74-year-old man in Florida did just that when he witnessed a gator snatch his beloved pup right in front of his eyes. In his backyard, Richard Wilbanks was enjoying some Florida sun when suddenly he heard Gunner, his new puppy, yelping in pain and terror. When he rushed to the edge of his backyard pond, the man witnessed an alligator drag his beloved pup into the water.
Richard, an avid hunter, knew he had to act quickly before his dog became the gator’s meal. Without hesitation, the man waded into the pond and got hold of the small alligator. Richard then pulled the dangerous reptile’s jaws wide open, allowing the three-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to escape the jaws of death safely. Richard says that when everything happened, he was in “shock,” and his instincts just took over from there. He noted that once his adrenaline got going, he made a b-line to the water without thinking of anything but saving his puppy.
Richard’s wife, Louise, later said in an interview with WBBH that her husband received only a couple of cuts from wrestling the gator, and little Gunner is doing just fine. She spoke about the incredible moment when her husband took on an alligator, saying Richard was covered in blood but had their puppy in his arms.
Plus, he did all of this without even getting his cigar wet! It remained in his mouth the entire time; talk about a tough guy!
The incredible scene was captured on video due to an arrangement the family has with the Florida Wildlife Federation. They allow the organization to set up cameras on their property since they live near a wild habitat. The alligator is said to have been safely removed from their property and relocated. You can watch this stunning rescue below.