74-Year-Old Florida Man Speaks Out After Heroic Video Of Him Rescuing His Puppy From An Alligator Goes Viral

“He just came out like a missile.”

This past week, a trail cam captured 74-year-old Richard Wilbanks diving into a pond after his 3-month-old puppy Gunner was snatched by an alligator and dragged into the water.

Wilbanks managed to get a hold of the gator, drag him to shore, pry his jaws open, and get poor Gunner to safety. You can hear Gunner whimpering in the video, and Wilbanks groaning as he struggles with the gator. It looks like a scene from a movie, but for the most part, everybody was uninjured.

“He had one little puncture wound, and my hands were just chewed up.”

Wilbanks detailed the account to CNN:

“We were just out walking by the pond and it came out of the water like a missile. I never thought an alligator could be that fast. It was so quick… I just automatically jumped into the water.”

And for the 74 year old, wrestling the gator the hard part, it was getting his jaws open was:

“Holding the alligator wasn’t so tough, but prying open the jaws was extremely hard.”

Wilbanks and his wife Louise now have a new sense of appreciation for the wildlife that lives around them.

“We do need to be aware they are wild animals. They’re not here for our benefit. We’re very lucky to share the space with them.”

What a badass… and he’s not even mad at the alligator. How would you not want to turn this thing into a pair of alligator boots after that?

Richard, you sir, are a man among men.

Here’s the original clip (sound included).

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock