(UPI) A Florida man jumped into a pond to rescue his puppy from the jaws of a hungry alligator that had grabbed the canine and dragged him under water.
Richard Wilbanks said he was outside his family's Estero home when he heard Gunner, the puppy he had only recently adopted, crying out in distress.
Wilbanks rushed to the back of the house, where he saw an alligator had grabbed Gunner and was dragging the dog under water.
A Florida Wildlife Federation surveillance camera recorded the moment Wilbanks jumped into the water to pry open the gator's jaws, allowing Gunner to run to safety.
Wilbanks said Gunner was not seriously injured.
"He had one little puncture wound, and ... my hands were just chewed up," Wilbanks told WINK-TV.
Wilbanks said he released the alligator after the encounter and decided not to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about the incident. He said the alligator was just following its animal instincts.
Wilbanks and his wife said the incident gave them a new appreciation for safety around the water.
"I would like to emphasize for people that have pets to make sure that they keep them away from the edge of the water," Wilbanks said.Copyright 2020 by United Press International