ESTERO, Fla. - WARNING: Video contains footage some may find disturbing
A Florida man pried the jaws of an alligator open to save his puppy’s life in Estero.
According to WINK News, Richard Wilbanks saw his pet, Gunner, get snatched by an alligator and dragged into a pond. That’s when he sprang into action, jumping into the water to rescue his beloved dog.
“He just came out like a missile,” Wilbanks told WINK News.
Thankfully, besides a puncture wound, Gunner is doing ok and so is the gator. Wilbanks told WINK News that he’ll keep Gunner on a leash and away from water, but he also understands that the gator was just doing what gators do.
FOX 35 News spoke with Meredith Budd with the Florida Wildlife Federation, who has a video partnership with fSTOP. It’s part of a campaign called “Sharing the Landscape” which aims to help people appreciate and understand the ‘shared landscape’ we have with wildlife and help reduce conflicts – such as this recent situation.
Budd says they typically see animals like raccoons and turkeys on the cameras, so incidents like this are very rare.
“We don’t want to just tolerate wildlife – but, rather, we want to thrive with wildlife on a shared landscape.”
For pet owners, Budd says there are things they can do to keep their pets safe while respecting nature, like keeping them on leashes and away from unfamiliar waters.
This story was written out of Orlando, Florida.
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