Richard Wilbanks, 74, fights an underwater crocodile to save three-month-old dog Gunner in Florida this month.
“We were walking by the pond when the crocodile jumped out of the water and grabbed Gunner like a rocket. I never thought a crocodile could be so fast,” said Wilbanks, of Estero, at CNN. 21 November. “I immediately jumped into the water”
Richard Wilbanks rescues his pet dog in Estero, Florida. Video: Florida Federation of Wildlife.
Keeping the crocodile isn’t too difficult, says Wilbanks, because it’s quite small, but choosing its jaws is “extremely difficult.” Wilbanks said his hand was “crushed” and he was vaccinated against tetanus. The gunner injured his abdomen but the injury was well after being treated by a veterinarian.
The rescue was captured by a camera installed by the Florida Federation of Wildlife and the fSTOP Foundation to track wildlife. Wilbanks doesn’t want the crocodile taken out of the pond or destroyed. “These animals are part of nature and part of our lives,” he said.
Wilbanks will still take Gunner for a walk, but he will put the dog on a leash and walk about three meters from the shore of the pond. “Pets are like members of our family,” he said.