Caught on camera: Florida man saves dog from alligator’s jaws

Around the South

ESTERO, Fla. (CBS)– A man rescued his puppy from the jaws of an alligator and it was all caught on camera.

Wildlife cameras in the area captured the dramatic rescue.

Richard Wilbanks, the puppy’s owner, jumped into the water and pried open the gator’s mouth to save his dog.

“They’re like children to us. So, there was no second thought whatsoever,” Wilbanks said.

Even after being dragged underwater in the jaws of a gator, Gunner the dog is doing just fine.

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

The terrifying encounter was recorded due to wildlife cameras that were put up in partnership between the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fStop Foundation.

Meredith Budd, the regional policy director of the Florida Wildlife Commission, said the cameras usually capture videos of things like deer or bobcats.

The cameras were set up as part of a campaign called ‘Sharing the Landscape’.

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

The dog is a little hesitant going near water, but because Wilbanks calls this a learning experience, he’s keeping Gunner away from the water and always on a leash.

Wilbanks said he understands this is the gator’s home and that it was just doing what gators do to survive, and that’s why he decided not to call the Florida Wildlife Commission.

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