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WATCH: Florida man jumps into pond, rescues puppy from jaws of alligator

Richard Wilbanks, saved his 3-month-old puppy’s life when he pried the dog from the jaws of an alligator. (New York Daily News/TNS)

 A Florida man is receiving accolades after video showed him jump into a pond to save the life of his puppy, pulling it from the jaws of a small alligator that had snatched it from the bank.

“It was just a shock, it happened so fast,” Richard Wilbanks 74, tells WBBH Channel 2. “Instinct just took over and adrenaline kicked in and I just went right into the water after the gator and Gunner.”


Wilbanks tells WBBH he was sitting outside in a lawn chair when he heard his puppy Gunner begin crying. A small alligator had the puppy in its mouth and was taking it back into a pond.

Wilbanks jumped into the water and pulled the alligator out, prying the puppy from its mouth. Gunner had only a small puncture wound and was OK, but Wilbanks says his hands were cut up from the encounter.

“Fortunately, I was in a position that I was able to save Gunner’s life,” Wilbanks tells Wink News. Reports say the incident was recorded on surveillance cameras set up in the area by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fStop Foundation.


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