Video screengrab
Video screengrab

In a daring rescue, a Florida man was spotted wading into a pond to save his pet dog from an alligator. The man, identified by reports as 74-year-old Richard Wilbanks had been startled to hear his three-month-old puppy crying out. A small alligator had caught hold of Gunner and dragged him into the water.

In a video clip that has since gone viral, Wilbanks can be seen dashing to the dog's rescue, wading into the pond fully clothed and somehow managing to pull the alligator out out of the water. The short video is enough to make some hold their breath in anticipation, as Wilbanks struggles to remove the alligator's jaws from around the puppy even as he moves towards the bank. The clip ends with him finally managing to force the mouth open enough for the dog to scramble to safety.

While it was not clear from the video whether Gunner and Wilbanks had sustained serious injuries, an NBC News report clarifies that they are both okay now. Wilbanks had sustained a few cuts during the rescue.

According to reports the incident had happened a few weeks ago, at the end of October. It had been recorded because Wilbanks is part of a program between the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fStop Foundation, called Sharing the Landscape. As a part of this project, his premises are monitored by a camera, to take a look at the wildlife in the region. It was only when this footage was collected and checked that Gunner's daring rescue came to light.

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Free Press Journal