Trail Camera Captures 74-Year-Old Florida Man Wrestling 3-Month-Old Puppy From The Jaws Of An Alligator

A man in a fishing net

What’s a hero?

Some folks might call their mom or dad a hero, their sister or brother, a friend they look up to. Others would call the brave men and women of our United States Military heroes, our first responders, our doctors and nurses and frontline workers right now.

And if you’re Matthew McConaughey, maybe it’s yourself in 10 years…

And then there is this guy.

An absolute HERO, in all caps, by anybody’s definition.

I don’t really have any context or backstory for what’s going on here other than this video popped off on TikTok, but this Florida man was apparently out for a walk with his young pup when a gator snatched him and took him into the water.

So what did the man do?


(Warning: you do hear the puppy squeal quite bit so if you don’t want to hear that, maybe hit the mute button)

The video was captured on a Browning trail cam, most likely triggered by motion, and you can see him emerge from UNDER THE WATER with the alligator in his hands. He rips that SOB’s jaws open and after struggling for a moment, the pup falls out of his mouth and runs away to safety.

The man is 74-year old Richard Wilbanks and 3-month-old puppy Gunner.

Either way, Florida man… certified HERO.

And he didn’t drop that cigar the entire time…

Richard Wilbanks Speaks Out After Heroic Rescue

“He just came out like a missile.”

Local news eventually caught up with 74-year-old Richard Wilbanks, who dove 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).

Smoke Meat Not Meth – Get the shirt HERE.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock