Reuters reports that a pet dog named Bounce was saved from an alligator attack by a 66-year-old Florida grandfather. The retired man saw his dog in the mouth of a 7-foot gator and involuntarily leaped on its back to save his four-legged friend.
Bounce, a 9-year-old West Highland terrier living in Orlando, Florida, looked in the face of death on Thursday when a 7-foot gator snapped him up from the edge of the pond. Fortunately, his master, a 66-year-old retired corporate lawyer made it in time to see that his dog was trapped in the alligator’s mouth and threw himself on the back of the deadly reptile.
Gustafson, Florida’s heroic grandfather told the press that the first thought that came into his mind upon seeing that his helpless dog was being carried away in the pond by the gator, was that his best friend will soon be dead. His presence of mind gave him courage to leap over the alligator and fight with it until Bounce was released.
The 130-pound reptile was a tough adversary, as well. He tried to take Gustafson to the bottom of the 3-foot-deep pond on numerous occasions, but the grandfather proved to be stronger than him. As soon as Bounce was back on the bank, Gustafson threw the gator in the water and started running as far away from the pond as possible. Bounce and his master needed a few stitches, but their overall condition was good.
Neighbors in The Villages community wanted to do something special for the courageous man, so they gave Gustafson a superhero cape and an alligator belt buckle. The villain of the story, the gator, was not as lucky as the other characters, for he was, later on, captured and killed by a local trapper. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated that this measure was necessary because alligator populations have become excessively big in this time of the year due to high temperatures. The hunting season was in fact prolonged until October 5th in order to reduce their population.