Florida-based retired Mr. Richard Wilbanks, 74, and his three-month-old dog, Gunner, recently experienced unexpected moments of horror, CNN reported.
Wilbanks was on an everyday walk by the pond in his backyard with Gunner when it started to happen.
The shallow shore water was suddenly attacked by a small alligator about a meter long.
It grabbed the immature spaniel in the blink of an eye and then pressed back into the water.
- It would shoot water like a missile.
I never would have thought that an alligator could be so nimble.
It was terribly fast, Wilbanks told CNN.
You can watch a video of the incident on the CNN website.
Wilbanks did not remain idle to watch the swan song of his beloved dog but attacked in the face after the duo lost below the surface.
He said he rushed into the shore water without even thinking about it.
Wilbanks, wading in the shore for a moment, quickly located the alligator.
He lifted it straight into his hands and began to drag Gunner out of the wildlife's gill — with his bare hands.
The duel between Wilbanks and the alligator lasted a few seconds, and Gunner hung helplessly in the middle of the commotion.
The retired gentleman was finally allowed to open the mouth of the alligator, at which point the dog immediately swept into the looser waters.
Wilbanks described to CNN that holding the alligator wasn’t very difficult, but cranking its jaws open was a very brutal and challenging operation.
The story had a happy ending, as the Gunner dog survived the rush almost unharmed.
Wilbanks received numerous painful wounds to his hands and abdomen from the wrestling session.
The health status of the alligator is unknown.
Wilbanks has been walking Gunner on the shores of the same pond even after the bloody situation but has stayed further away from the shoreline of horrors.
He can’t stand the resentment of an alligator who has interrupted a leisurely moment of outdoor activity, even though, like his dog, he got to know its raw biting power.
- They are part of nature and at the same time our lives, he told CNN.
The incident experienced by Wilbanks is quite rare, with alligators biting in the state of Florida on average only about ten people a year.