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Look! It’s Superman? It’s Spider-Man? It’s Captain America? Nope. It’s Florida man!
A Florida man, of all people, came to the rescue like a superhero last Tuesday when an 8-year-old month chocolate Labrador retriever named Jake came under attack by an alligator.
Jake’s owner, Mike McCoy, later told Tampa station WFTS that he’d been walking with the pup along a pond near a middle school when the alligator sprang out from the water like a mythical beast and snatched Jake away.
What happened next was like something out of a superhero movie: As Jake tussled with the gator in what McCoy described as a “death roll,” McCoy rushed to his rescue.
“I got around, thumbed him the eye, picked him out of the water so he couldn’t get anywhere until he let the dog go. And in the interim he decided, I don’t have him, I’ll bite you,” he recalled to WFTS.
Thankfully, both he and Jake made it out alive, albeit with the need for stitches.
Meanwhile, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission told the station that the gator was likely somewhere between seven and nine feet long.
As to the people who think McCoy is nuts, he ain’t sweating it.
“No hesitation. It’s just the way it is,” he said.
Indeed, which is why men rushing in to save their pets is no rare occurrence, relatively speaking. Last November, another Florida man committed the exact same deed.
“A 74-year-old man leaped into a Florida pond and wrestled open the jaws of an alligator that lunged from the water to attack his 3-month-old puppy,” the Associated Press reported at the time.
“The rescue last month was captured on video by cameras placed in the area to document wildlife. Florida Wildlife Federation workers discovered the attack when they checked the camera’s memory card last week, according to the agency’s regional policy director, Meredith Budd.”
Watch the footage below:
Keep in mind that the alligator he fought off was way smaller at only an estimated four feet in length. Still!
Oh but we’re not done yet …
Earlier that year in June, the same thing happened again — and amazingly enough, it happened in the same county where Jake was almost taken out.
Like McCoy, Trent Twedaddle had been walking his 6-year-old rescue dog Loki near a pond when a super-giant 13-foot gator — you read that right — tried to pull Loki in. Bad choice. What the gator didn’t realize is that the dog’s owner is a former Army staff sergeant.
“I grabbed the dog’s collar to try to pull him back and I ended up in a tug of war match with this gator and the gator was not letting go,” Twedaddle told Tampa station WFLA at the time.
“So I let go of the collar and I got about knee-deep into the water and started pounding on the gator’s head until he eventually let go.”
Amazingly, this Florida man got out with only minor scratches, though sadly, Loki did not.
“When I pulled him back up, the bones were out and it looks like the arm was just hanging by a shred. They put metal plates and screws in and were able to reconstruct it that way. We’re hoping that he can regain full use of his paws after this,” Twedaddle said.
As noted earlier, this happens relatively often — and especially so in Florida. Though sadly, they don’t always conclude with a happy ending.
After Florida man Dale Barberi’s 6-month old dog, Mia, went missing last September, he checked his surveillance cameras and discovered — much to his horror — that she’d been snatched up by an alligator that had been hiding in the lake by his home.
“As I saw it, going through the footage, right at 12:32 in the afternoon. It kind of set me back a little bit,” he told Orlando station WOFL.
Mia’s remains wound up being found on the other side of the lake.
Sometimes — but exceedingly rarely — humans wind up dead too.
In what has thus far been the only fatal alligator case of the 2020s, a South Carolina woman was pulled under and killed by an alligator in a pond behind her friend’s home last May.
“Cynthia Covert was waist deep in a pond behind her friend’s home on Kiawah Island clutching a rope as her friends tried to get her away from the alligator that dragged her into the water,” The Post and Courier reported on May 5th, 2020.
“As her friends pulled, she calmly said, ‘I guess I won’t do this again,’ according to a supplemental report released Tuesday by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.”
By “this,” she’d meant trying to get up close to the alligator to try and touch it.
A report by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office revealed that, “When Covert was doing her nails on the porch she saw the alligator in the pond and was fascinated by the alligator. … [A]fter Covert was finished with her nails she went outside of the porch and was taking pictures of the alligator.”
“The friend was cleaning her porch when she saw Covert by the water, the report said. She started yelling for Covert to get back, but her cries were ignored. She yelled out that the alligator grabbed a deer from that spot ‘the other day.’ Covert replied, ‘I don’t look like a deer.’ Then she moved to touch the alligator, the report said,” according to the Courier.
That, sadly, was the last move she ever made. RIP Miss Covert.