Grandfather Wrestles Alligator to Save Pet Dog
Never underestimate a man’s love for his best friend.
Just ask 66-year-old retired corporate lawyer Steve Gustafson. He recently leaped on top of a 7-foot alligator in order to save his best buddy, a small terrier dog named Bounce.
“I just knew that my best friend was going to be dead,” Steve Gustafson told the Orlando Sentinel. “And I took off.”
Gustafson lives in a retirement community near Orlando, which is also near a small pond. Everything was looking peachy until his 9-year-old West Highland strayed close to the shore of the pond.
The next thing he knows, the alligator is carrying Bounce in his mouth as the dog let out yelps for help.
“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,” Gustafson told the paper. “The only difference was I landed on top of a gator. It’s like being in a really bad car accident and walking away from it,” Gustafson said. “If I hesitated I would have lost my best friend.”
But the rescue didn’t come without a fight. The 130-pound gator reportedly tried to pin Gustafson to the bottom of the 3-foot-deep pond before he was able to outmaneuver it, finally setting Bounce free. Gustafson said he then “tossed” the gator back into the pond and raced for the shore. Both Bounce and Gustafson sustained minor injuries, receiving medical attention and a few stitches.
The gator was eventually captured and put down by animal officials.