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A Florida man is caught on camera rescuing his dog from an alligator in October. The man had a camera in his Estero backyard.

Fort Myers News-Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Recently released footage shows a Florida man rescuing his dog from the grip of an alligator, an unexpected moment captured on film by a project designed to monitor local wildlife.

The dramatic video shows the man jumping at the waist deep pond water after the alligator pulled the dog underwater. The man lowers his entire arm to bring the little dog up to the surface, with the little alligator still attached.

The dog yelp while the man struggles to free it from the grip of the street and shallow high from the trunk. After about 12 seconds, the man manages to free his pet and it cheats ashore.

The organization that captured the video says the man and his dog are OK.

The footage was recorded as part of a project between the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fStop Foundation, called Sharing the Landscape. The project involves residents living in areas bordering wild habitats in Lee County volunteering to have cameras placed in their backyard to document wildlife that lives and shares the same landscape, according to Meredith Budd, regional policy director for the nature association.

Richard Wilbanks of Estero was one of the residents who was chosen to have a camera in his backyard.

According to Budd, Wilbanks was captured and rescued his dog from an alligator in late October. The foundations had no idea what had happened before collecting the memory cards and watching the footage just last week, she said.

Budd said, “homeowners took their dog to the vet and the man was also checked out and all parties involved are healthy and OK.”

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The puppy – named Gunner, a 3-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel – has recovered from a puncture year, Wilbanks told CNN.

“I never thought an alligator could be so fast. It was so fast,” Wilbanks told the network. He also said he was fine but his hands had been injured and he got a tetanus.

The camera project began as a way to increase the conversation about how humans and wildlife share the same landscape. As housing development interferes with wildlife in southwest Florida, Budd said education in coexistence with wildlife is important to help reduce the conflict between humans and wildlife.

“Wildlife is all around us and we are all part of the same ecosystem,” she said. “Every species plays an important role and helps keep our environment healthy.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to take the footage from the volunteers’ properties and create a video that helps educate people about living among wildlife.

“It is crucial that people living at the interface with the wild land take extra precautions – dogs should be tied up and both humans and pets should avoid lingering at the edge of large retention ponds where alligators are known to occupy. , “said Budd.

Follow Kaitlin Greenockle on Twitter: @kaitlinroseg

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