I know I’m not alone in side-eyeing any mentions of people doing things in Florida at this point, for reasons we all understand. At least this one has a happy ending and a cute, scampering puppy as our reward for reading “Florida” and “gator” and still clicking on the link.
According to WINK News, Richard Wilbanks and his dog, Gunner, were out on a hike in the village of Estero, when the pup wandered into a pond and landed in the jaws of an alligator. The whole scene was captured by surveillance cameras, a collaboration between the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation:
via WINK News:
Richard Wilbanks says his instincts and adrenaline kicked in when a gator snatched his dog, Gunner, recently and dragged him into a pond. He immediately jumped into the water to save his pet. We spoke to Wilbanks Friday, and he called the encounter a learning experience. “He just came out like a missile,” Wilbanks said.
FWF hopes the video of Wilbanks’ encounters leads to a better relationship between people and wildlife. “They’re like children to us, so there was no second thought whatsoever, Wilbanks said. Wilbanks pried open a gator’s mouth and saved Gunner. “He had one little puncture wound, and … my hands were just chewed up,” Wilbanks said.
Even after being dragged underwater in the jaws of a gator, Gunner is doing fine.
Here’s the video, which was originally posted by TikTok user @wingwomanmc. You’ll want to mute the volume on the clip if the pup’s yelping sounds are too much to handle, even though he does manage to trot back to the trail, thanks to his dad’s strength and quick reflexes.
If I hadn’t first read the story accompanying this clip, I would have naturally assumed that the man had entered the pond to propose to the alligator and suggest to his scaly beloved that they register at Kohl’s and choose china patterns after a celebratory dinner. It’s really not so far-fetched.
Pic: WINK News via FWF