Orlando, FL – What started as a normal day for Steve Gustafson and his dog Bounce ended in a day Steve will never ever forget. The normal day found Steve trimming an oak tree in the backyard of his home in The Villages retirement community northwest of Orlando Florida when he heard his terrier cry out. What he saw when he turned around was an image straight out of a movie.
There just feet away from him was a 7-foot alligator literally pulling Bounce into the pond by her shoulder and collar. Since Bounce is only a 13 pound West Highland Terrier, you can imagine how that looked.
Gustafson told the Orlando Sentinal, “For whatever reason, I don’t know, I just yelled, ‘you’re not going to get her!’ and just leaped on the gator…just like you do some silly belly flop in a pool.” “The only difference was I landed on top of an alligator.”
Once Gustafson wrestled the alligator under water, he was able to rescue Bounce and escape; not without getting bit himself though, in his right hand and his right leg. Once the alligator swam away, Steve and Bounce made it out of the pond and managed to recover from this very scary event.
This type of thing doesn’t happen every day, according to Patrick Delaney, an alligator biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He said that alligator attacks on dogs are “extremely uncommon.” There are a few precautions you can take to avoid an incident like this and keep your dogs, cats, and other small pets safe, and children as well.
Always make sure that if you live an area where alligators are prevalent, to keep pets in an enclosed area or on a leash close by to you, and never leave them or children outside alone.