74-Year Old Florida Man Jumps In Water And Fights Off Alligator That Snatched His Puppy

Man wrestles gator

And he even had a cigar still hangin’ from his lips.

If I dare say, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

I mean, that’s a wild one, jumping into a gators habitat to take him on, but those fury little friends are definitely worth it.

Alligators are powerful reptiles that have been around for millions of years. In terms of bite strength, alligators are among the strongest animals on the planet. Their jaws are capable of applying over 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch, making them capable of crushing shells, bones, and even metal objects.

This impressive bite strength is used to capture and kill prey, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

While alligators are generally not a threat to humans, they can pose a danger to pets, especially dogs. This is because dogs, with their curious and playful nature, often approach alligators too closely, putting themselves at risk with a beast of an animal.

This 74-year old found that out the hard way on this day.

His puppy got to close to the water and a young gator jumped right out and grabbed it. The man wasn’t far behind, jumping in the water and grabbing the gator.

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.

I hope I’m acting like this when I’m that age.

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

Either way, Florida man… certified HERO.

Alligator Wrestling Hero Speaks Out After 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).

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A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock