Man Pries Alligator’s Jaws Open to Rescue Dog

A man recently went to heroic lengths to rescue his beloved dog from a hungry alligator in Florida — but he didn’t emerge unscathed.


The unidentified man jumped into a canal behind his house in Sarasota County on Friday after an alligator got a hold of his chocolate lab, an officer with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) told ABC7 Sarasota.

As soon as the dog owner hit the water, he “pried open the gator’s jaws” to rescue the lab from the reptile, said to be 9-feet long. During the heroic rescue, the man was also injured, the FWC said.

“Both [dog and homeowner] will be fine,” Lt. Rob Gerkin of the the FWC said in an ABC7 Sarasota broadcast. “There’s a happy ending to this one. They don’t always happen that way.”

A trapper was called to the scene and the alligator was captured.

A neighbor, Kelly Ann Ayers, managed to capture a photo of the alligator the Sunday before the incident.

“It was huge,” Ayers said of the gator in a Facebook post. “It attacked a dog four doors down and the owner, Justin, jumped in and saved the dog! Remarkably they are both ok!”

Ayers told ABC7 she had spotted the gator and had a fence put up to protect her own pet.

As Floridians know, alligators are part of life in the Sunshine State. Last week, a motorist filmed an incredible video of an alligator crossing a road in Parkland with what appeared to be a big kill in its mouth, while a gang of vultures followed close by.


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