Usually when the noted Florida Man is in the news, it’s because he’s done something utterly stupid. Like how one tried to quarantine in an abandoned Disney World island, or when another attacked an ATM for giving him too much money, or the one who claimed he invented the iPhone. This time, Florida Man has returned to the news, this time for a feat of stupidity and strength (?) by saving his puppy from the jaws of an alligator while never dropping his cigar out of his mouth.
The energy in this, my friends.
NBC reported that Richard Wilbanks was sitting in his yard when he heard his new puppy (named Gunner) whimpering, and realised that a decent-sized alligator in the pond up the back of the yard had grabbed the three-month-old Cavalier King Charles and dragged it into the water.
Without thinking, and with a fat cigar firmly in his mouth, Richard piss-bolted up to the pond and jumped in without a second thought, wrestling the alligator and prying its jaws open enough to free Gunner from being the gator’s dinner.
The whole thing was caught on camera by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the fSTOP Foundation, who had set up cameras to film for a local wildlife awareness campaign, Sharing The Landscape.
Just, watch the video. It’s nuts.
Richard recounted the story to NBC, saying that the adrenaline blinded him from hesitating, and he instinctively just went in after his brand new pup.
“I was just a shock, it happened so fast,” he said.
“Instinct just took over, adrenaline kicked in. I just went right in the water after the gator and Gunner.”
Apparently, Gunner got away surprisingly scot-free, with a single puncture wound from the gator’s teeth.
Richard’s wife, Louise, also said that Richard emerged from the pond covered in blood.
After the whole ordeal – which happened in October – it’s reported that everyone involved is doing well; Richard, little Gunner, and the snappy gator living in the pond.
Can’t confirm whether his cigar was dry enough to choof on afterwards though.