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US Florida man who saved his puppy from alligator's jaws shares update on dog's recovery

13:45  24 november  2020
13:45  24 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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A Florida retiree dived into the water and wrestled the reptile to free his puppy , Gunner.

animals, dog , puppy , alligator , richard wilbanks, cigar. About. Florida Man Saving Dog From The video spread on Reddit as well. On November 20th, Redditor PussyWhistle shared the video in the saved the puppy from getting eaten by an alligator and never dropped his cigar, a true legend

ESTERO, Fla. — The day they met, Richard Wilbanks and Gunner were inseparable.

Gunner, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, snuggled up right next to Richard that first meeting at the breeder’s place in Miami, and that was all the two needed.

Richard took Gunner home to his wife, Louise, in Estero and the now-famous duo are always side by side whether it’s on the couch or out on the lanai that overlooks a wild nature preserve.

The companionship was put to the ultimate test one Sunday morning in late October as Richard and Gunner went out for a walk by the pond just next to the Wilbanks’ home.

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A Florida man ' s heroic efforts to save his dog from an alligator were captured in a dramatic video. The dramatic video shows the man jumping into waist-deep pond water after the alligator dragged the dog underwater. The man submerges his whole arm to bring the small dog to the surface, with the

Florida man pries open alligator ’ s jaws to save his dog ’ s life. The study also offered advice: “The risk of alligator bites can be reduced by educating people likely to interact with alligators , and by selectively removing problem alligators in human residential areas and water bodies used regularly

The pair were walking along the shoreline where, unseen to either Richard or Gunner, an alligator was on alert.

In an instant, the almost 4-foot gator lunged from the water and grabbed Gunner. Without any hesitation, Richard lept into the water after the puppy and the gator that had it in its jaws.

a close up of a dog: Gunner, a three-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, owned by Richard and Louise Wilbanks is pictured, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero. Gunner was recently saved by his owner, Richard Wilbanks, after he was grabbed by an alligator while they went for a walk near a retention pond located near their home. © Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY - FLORIDA NETWORK Gunner, a three-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, owned by Richard and Louise Wilbanks is pictured, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero. Gunner was recently saved by his owner, Richard Wilbanks, after he was grabbed by an alligator while they went for a walk near a retention pond located near their home.

The rescue: Florida man saves his dog from the jaws of an alligator; wildlife cam films the dramatic rescue

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A man from Florida recently went up against an alligator to save his puppy from certain doom and a wildlife camera recorded the whole deal! Meet Richard Wilbanks, a 74-year-old senior citizen from Estero, Florida who was walking his dog named Gunner around his backyard pond when a juvenile

A man saved his puppy from an alligator by jumping in a pond and prying its mouth open! The wild scene went down in a pond somewhere in Florida -- naturally As the frightened pooch yelps for help, the man uses his brute strength to pry open the beast' s jaws , allowing the dog to get free and run to

“It was like a missile,” Richard said recalling the incident. “We were only about 3 feet away from it, but it struck like a snake. It had Gunner in a vise grip and I just rushed in.”

Richard and Louise moved to Estero four years ago.

The couple came by way of central Texas hill country, Louise said. Richard’s son Grant is a landscape architect living in Bonita Springs, so the Wilbanks were familiar with the area and wanted to be close to family.

The pair came to see the house in Estero, but it was under a contract, Richard said. The two went back to Texas and were on their honeymoon when the Realtor called to let them know the house was back on the market. They didn’t hesitate.

“We fell in love with it,” Richard said.

Tucked at the dead-end of their neighborhood, the Wilbanks’ home speaks to their love of nature.

Florida man saves his dog from the jaws of an alligator; wildlife cam films the dramatic rescue

  Florida man saves his dog from the jaws of an alligator; wildlife cam films the dramatic rescue A Florida man's heroic efforts to save his dog from an alligator were captured in a dramatic video.The dramatic video shows the man jumping into waist-deep pond water after the alligator dragged the dog underwater. The man submerges his whole arm to bring the small dog to the surface, with the small alligator still latched on.

Florida man saves dog from alligator , smokes cigar the whole time. Or is it Trump trying to snatch America back from the jaws of media elites? They are kind of reptilian Or, maybe the alligator ’ s just peckish and the puppy is lucky he' s got an owner with stones the size of Mt.

Man rushes into water to save his dog from an alligator . (CNN) In a dramatic encounter recorded by surveillance cameras, a Florida man chased an alligator under water and rescued his 3-month-old puppy from the jaws of death.

Paintings of seahorses and roseate spoonbills hang in the family room where one of Gunner’s beds lays out in front of the TV. A cross-stitched heron and a large painting of two great egrets watch over the dining table.

a man holding a dog: Richard Wilbanks holds his dog Gunner, a three-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero. Wilbanks recently saved Gunner from the jaws of an alligator while out for a walk near their home. © Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY - FLORIDA NETWORK Richard Wilbanks holds his dog Gunner, a three-month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero. Wilbanks recently saved Gunner from the jaws of an alligator while out for a walk near their home.

Louise said Richard spent four years growing plants in the backyard so the view into the nature preserve was uninterrupted.

Richard said he’s seen deer, turkey, bobcats and even a panther near their home.

“It’s wonderful to be able to share our lives with the wildlife,” he said.

And that positivity even goes for the alligator who grabbed Gunner, too.

“He’s still swimming out there,” Richard said.

Gunner's recovery

Immediately following the attack, Gunner was in shock. Once Richard was able to pry Gunner free, the gator clamped down on his hands and he then had to free himself. The pair traipsed back to the house, both dripping blood.

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After a quick home fix on Richard’s hands, Gunner went to the animal hospital where doctors found a puncture wound. The Wilbanks were worried about any internal injuries, but X-rays showed only some water in the lungs. The puppy stayed at the hospital for a few days to recover.

Gunner is just right as rain now, greeting visitors at the door with an energy only puppies can muster, and he has a new leash for his walks.

“A new leash on life,” Richard said.

Gunner and Richard’s harrowing attempt was captured on video because the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fstop Foundation put up cameras to track wildlife in the area.

“I’m pleased with the job they do,” Richard said of FWF. “And this lets people know we can live with wildlife.”

Meredith Budd, the FWF representative in Southwest Florida, said the Wilbanks’ street was very receptive to the cameras.

a tree next to a body of water: The pond where Richard Wilbanks rescued his puppy © Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY - FLORIDA NETWORK The pond where Richard Wilbanks rescued his puppy "Gunner" from an alligator is pictured, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, next to their home in Estero.

Overall, 17 cameras across 15 properties are placed in backyards in Estero in what the two organizations call Sharing the Landscape.

“Humans and wildlife, we both inherently share the same landscape and homeowners who live in and around nature should understand the value of wildlife around them,” Budd said. “While this video was shocking and I’m glad everyone was OK, I’m glad it’s a learning opportunity for the importance of respecting wildlife and taking precautions to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

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The federation checks the cameras, periodically, Budd said, and this was the first time an incident like this showed up.

The cameras only hold a certain number of photos and videos before the memory cards fill up, and they run on batteries, so it’s a bit labor intensive to keep up with them all. Budd said she’d love to get solar power and cloud storage for the cameras, but the funding isn’t there.

a man and woman sitting next to a dog: Louise and Richard Wilbanks pose for a portrait with their dog Gunner, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero. © Jon Austria/Naples Daily News USA TODAY - FLORIDA NETWORK Louise and Richard Wilbanks pose for a portrait with their dog Gunner, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at their home in Estero.

Even so, the cameras show the dynamic between people enjoying nature in their backyards and wildlife doing the same.

“It’s interesting seeing the timestamps to see when people are out there, and we are sharing that landscape — just usually not at the same time,” Budd said.

In Southwest Florida, there are wild animals sharing the same spaces humans use, and Budd said it’s important to know what precautions are needed to mitigate risk or conflict.

Richard said for him and Gunner, this was a happy ending story.

His advice: Make sure to leash your dog and keep them 10 feet away from the water.

Follow Karl Schneider on Twitter: @karlstartswithk

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Florida man who saved his puppy from alligator's jaws shares update on dog's recovery

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