Dramatic surveillance camera footage of a Florida man rescuing his puppy from the grip of an alligator has gone viral on social media.
The tension-filled footage, which has amassed over 156.7k likes in a Tweet shared by New York Times reporter Juan Vidal, the man can be seen wrestling the alligator underwater before prising it’s mouth open, allowing the small puppy to break free from his grip and run to safety.
If the footage itself wasn’t gripping enough, many social media users found themselves entranced by the man’s firm and calm demeanour throughout the ordeal, with Vidal calling the man a “legend” for being able to save his puppy from certain death without even taking his cigar out of his mouth.
While people across the internet praised the man for his bravery, one Twitter user admitted that they didn’t possess the kind of fearlessness the man in this video clearly did.
jesus christ. i would have just uh, gotten a new dog.
— Studs Urkel ☭ (@conzmoleman) November 22, 2020
In a Tweet that got over 700 likes, the user joked that the alligator could keep the dog and that they’d just buy another one.
Meanwhile, with some people on Twitter expressing concern that the man could have sustained injuries from the brave move, another user quipped that the man “probably stitched himself in the parking lot with some fishing line and hook.”
Luckily, as reported by CNN, the man, who was identified as 74-year-old Florida retiree Richard Willbanks, got off pretty lightly from the encounter – he just had slightly “chewed up” hands and had to go to the hospital for a tetanus shot.
In addition to this, the puppy in the video has been identified as Willbanks’ pet – three-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Gunner.
He, too, seems to have escaped the incident relatively unscathed, with Willbanks confirming that while Gunner sustained a small puncture wound during the attack, he is doing well now and is going to be just fine, in no doubt down to his owner’s heroism!