By Mirembe Martina
A 66-year-old man wrestled with an alligator in a bid to save his pet dog which he managed to do in the long run.
Steve Gustafson, 66, is a retired corporate lawyer in Florida. He wrestled with a 7-foot alligator to save his a dog called Bounce which he called his “best friend”.
“I just knew that my best friend was going to be dead,” Steve Gustafson told the Orlando Sentinel. “And I took off.”
Steve currently stays at his home at The Villages, a retirement community near Orlando. It was at home when, in his backyard that the alligator carried his 9-year-old West Highland terrier as it wandered close to the shore of a nearby pond.
“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.”
The pound which weighed at 130-pounds put up a fight by trying to pin Gustafson to the bottom of the 3-foot-deep pond but was able to out with it and set Bounce free.
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. His neighbors responded by giving Gustafson a superhero cape and alligator belt buckle.
The gator was captured and killed by a local trapper later on. “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.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official Patrick Delaney said Gustafson’s story is not one others should try to emulate. “They’re fast, and they can be dangerous,” Delaney said. “So, I would give them a healthy respect.”