Florida man wrestles hungry gator to save puppy

Dog, owner needed stitches

Alligator at Gatorland
Alligator at Gatorland (McReynolds)

HOLIDAY, Fla. – When a hungry gator grabbed his dog, one Florida man didn’t hesitate to jump into the water and gouge the reptile’s eye so he could rescue his poor pet, according to WFTS.

Mike McCoy told the TV station he was walking his 8-month chocolate Labrador retriever, named Jake, on Tuesday behind Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday when an alligator lurched out of a nearby pond and snatched the dog.

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With Jake now underwater, McCoy jumped in the pond to save his puppy from the gator’s death roll.

“I previously read up on my environment and gators. I got around, thumbed him in the eye, picked him out of the water so he couldn’t get anywhere until he let the dog go. And in the interim he decided, I don’t have him, I’ll bite you,” McCoy told WFTS.

They were both eventually able to escape from the gator, estimated to be between 7 and 9 feet long, and have since been stitched up.

If the story sounds familiar, a nearly identical scenario was caught on video last year.

Richard Wilbanks, 74, was with his 3-month-old puppy near a pond in Estero when a 4-foot alligator seized the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

A man walking his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy along a waterway in Estero saved the dog’s life after it was grabbed by an alligator, according to a report from WINK News.
A man walking his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy along a waterway in Estero saved the dog’s life after it was grabbed by an alligator, according to a report from WINK News.

With a cigar still clutched between his lips, Wilbanks waded into the water and pried the gator’s jaws open with his bare hands.

Wilbanks and his dog, Gunner, only suffered minor injuries.

As for McCoy, he told the Tampa TV station that saving Jake was pure instinct.

“No hesitation. It’s just the way it is,” he said.

To read more of his story from WFTS, click here.


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