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Man saves pet dog from alligator's jaws in Estero, encounter caught on video

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

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 …

“He just came out like a missile,” Wilbanks said.

FWC said serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, but hopes the video of Wilbanks’ encounters leads to a better relationship between people and wildlife.

The Commission said in a statement, “We encourage everyone to take precautionary measures, particularly those who live or recreate near the water.

Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators. ”

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.

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

“We live on a shared landscape,” Budd said.

“It gives us a new appreciation,” said Louise Wilbanks, Richard’s wife.

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.

Gunner is now a little hesitant getting near the water, but because Wilbanks calls this a learning experience.

“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.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have not received a report of this incident and the video shared is not the property of FWC.

Do not allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators.

FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property.

People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

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