Man Saves Dog from Jaws of Gator

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Steve Gustafson and Bounce (Photo Credit: WOFL)

By Tiffany Teasley

ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL) — An Orlando man-made a daring decision to save his dog from the jaws of an alligator.

Steve Gustafson, 66, said he came upon his 13-pound West Highland Terrier, Bounce, dangling from the seven-foot alligator’s mouth.

“I looked down, and the gator is taking off with her in his mouth, with Bounce in his mouth,” he said. “I got a hold of her back left foot with my left hand, and I got my arm around the gator’s tail, and we were all under water.”

Gustafson didn’t think twice about running across the backyard, jumping into the lake and using every last ounce of his energy to battle the gator and save his dog.

“I grabbed his mouth, and then I shoved his mouth down against the bottom of the pond,” he said. “I had his back leg in my left hand, and now I had a gator. A seven-foot gator.”

He said he let go of the alligator and ran for dear life with his dog. Gustafson suffered only a few puncture wounds on his hand from the alligator’s teeth and bruises on his thigh.

Bounce was lucky, too, needing only a few stitches after the scuffle.

Gustafson said he’d do it again in a heartbeat.

“It couldn’t feel any better,” he said. “It’s like saving your child. It’s not like saving your child but it’s pretty close. She’s my best friend.”

The alligator was later trapped.