• The man and his dog were walking near a pond when the incident occurred
  • The alligator was about 7-9 feet long
  • Florida wildlife officials are is working to remove the gator from the pond ​

A man in Florida managed to rescue his puppy from the clutches of an alligator by jumping into a pond and wrestling the reptile.

On Tuesday, Mike McCoy was walking his 8-month-old chocolate Labrador, Jake, near a pond behind Paul R. Smith Middle School in the far northwest Tampa suburb of Holiday when the gator leaped out of the water and dragged the dog in.

Kellie Mallon, a teacher, who saw the whole incident from the second floor of a building, said, “It was kind of like a snake darting really fast. It was super fast."

McCoy immediately jumped in the water and wrestled with the gator until it dropped Jake.

“I previously read up on my environment and gators. I got around, thumbed him 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 ABC-affiliated WFTS.

School nurse Shelly Churchill helped tended and stitched up McCoy and Jake, reported NY Daily News. Both man and dog escaped without suffering any serious injuries.

Speaking about Jake, McCoy said, “He’s on the mend. He’s full of spit and vinegar today.” He added he didn’t think twice and there was no hesitation, “It’s just the way it is.”

Even though McCoy’s actions were noble, many still consider them dangerous and unnecessary.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the gator was between 7-9 feet long, and they are actively working on removing it from the pond, WFTS reported.

FWC said these kinds of attacks are rare in Florida, and added serious injuries from alligator bites have rarely been reported. Floridians have learned to coexist with the gators but territorial friction between the two still exists. Authorities have cautioned people to be careful near water during the warmer months.

Gator attacks on dogs have occurred before in Florida. In 2020, 74-year-old Richard Wilbanks was caught on camera saving his puppy from the jaws of death.

alligator and man involved in a fierce tug of war after the reptile grabbed dog
Alligator | Representational Image Pexels - Pixabay