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Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy 

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Old 11-21-2020, 01:12 AM
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Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy

A man risked his life to save that of his beloved puppy’s from the grip of an alligator, and it was all recorded by nearby surveillance cameras. Thankfully, both man and canine are OK.

The dramatic encounter in an Estero neighborhood was caught on record thanks to a partnership between the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation.

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.

“Fortunately, I was in a position that I was able to save Gunner’s life,” Wilbanks said.

Meredith Budd is the regional policy director of the Florida Wildlife Federation. She said they typically capture videos of things such as deer or bobcats in the wildlife. It’s not often they record activity like what Wilbanks and Gunner experienced.

The federation’s video partnership with fSTOP is part of a campaign called “Sharing the Landscape.”

“We live on a shared landscape,” Budd said. “We don’t just want to tolerate wildlife, but, rather, we want to thrive with wildlife on a shared landscape.”

The goal is to help people appreciate and understand the wildlife they live near and help reduce the conflicts that can sometimes happen between people and nature.

“It gives us a new appreciation,” said Louise Wilbanks, Richard’s wife. “We do need to be aware they are wild animals. They’re not here for our benefit. We’re very luck to share this space with them.”

Wilbanks told us he understands this is the gator’s home and that it was just doing what a gator does to survive, and that’s why he decided not to call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

We did reach out to FWC about this video, but we are still waiting to hear back.

Gunner is now a little hesitant getting near the water, but because Wilbanks calls this a learning experience. He’s keeping Gunner away from the water now and always on a leash.

“I would like to emphasize for people that have pets is to make sure that they keep them away from the edge of the water,” Wilbanks said.


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Old 11-21-2020, 01:25 AM
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Re: Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy

I guess it's a good thing it was a small gator. Still pretty cool he went in after his dog.

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Old 11-23-2020, 01:31 PM
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Re: Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy

I just did a quick Google search and apparently this type of shit happens all the time in Florida.

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Old 11-23-2020, 02:01 PM
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Re: Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy

good thing it was a small gator and not one like this:


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Old 11-23-2020, 03:48 PM
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Re: Florida Man Wrestles Alligator to Save Puppy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Illusion View Post
I just did a quick Google search and apparently this type of shit happens all the time in Florida.
It does. And with pythons as well. Last time I was in Florida, there were signs all over the place near ponds and lakes, rivers about Gators. And Bears too. I didn't know Florida had bears. Until I got pulled over going like 80 in a 55 on a military base. Military cop explained how many auto deaths have occurred in that area from people hitting or attempting to miss bears at highway speeds.

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