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Dog Attacked by 12-Foot Alligator, Owner Jumps on Its Back to Rescue Pet

A central Florida couple got the shock of their lives.

A central Florida couple got the shock of their lives last week, when a 12-foot gator attacked their dog when they were out for a walk. The man and woman were walking their pet in a park along the Little Econlockhatchee River when an alligator surged out of nearby water and snatched the dog. Read on to find out how the man rescued the dog, and what happened to the huge reptile afterward.

An Improbable Rescue

Billy Girard/FOX 13

The man jumped on top of the huge reptile and pried its jaws open, freeing the pup, WFTV reported. "A boyfriend and girlfriend were walking their dog at Riverside Park in the back along the Little Econ River when an alligator came out and snatched it," city spokesperson Lisa McDonald told Fox News.  "According to staff, (not witnessed), the boyfriend jumped on top of the alligator to rescue the dog. They were able to free the animal," she said.

Caution: Mating Season

Billy Girard/FOX 13

The alligator may have been especially aggressive because this is the midpoint of the reptiles' mating season and nearly time for nesting.  Florida wildlife officials are warning pet owners not to walk their animals near any bodies of water this time of year, especially at dawn or dusk.

Trapper: "We Stay Kind of Busy"

FOX 13

The Florida Wildlife Commission issued a permit for the alligator to be removed. Alligator trapper Jerry Flynn told WSVN that the Florida river seemed to have more than its share of large alligators. His nephew trapped the alligator that attacked the couple's dog. "It seems like the Econ does hold a lot of alligators," Flynn told the station. "A lot of them are in the neighborhoods and when the retention ponds get low or hot, then they tend to go back into the Econ. So we stay kind of busy."

Alligator Could "Easily" Have Taken Down a Human


Flynn told WSVN that the 12-foot gator wasn't the biggest he'd seen in the area but that it could have easily taken down a human. "We knew that it was a dangerous alligator, a very large alligator," he said. In these situations, trappers kill the alligator and harvest it. "We sell the meat and the hides," he said. "That's how we actually make a living. We don't get paid by the state." 

In Even Bigger News

Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue/Facebook

This isn't quite the biggest alligator news to come out of Florida in recent weeks. An even bigger alligator was caught and killed by Florida hunters after it was determined to be a threat to livestock, the Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue said on April 4. The group announced the capture in a Facebook post, which came after the gator was seen roaming around a cattle ranch. "This giant ended up being 12'2" which is huge for a wild gator on a ranch like this, or anywhere really," they said.

"A Big Problem If Not Dealt With Immediately"

Martin County Trapping & Wildlife Rescue/Facebook

"We knew this gator could end up being a big problem if not dealt with immediately," the group said. "A gator this size can easily eat a calf or even a cow. Working cow dogs are also a big concern." Mike Kimmel, the head of Martin County Trapping who's known as the "Python Cowboy" on social media, removed the animal with an AR-style rifle. "These big bull gators will try to (dominate) the area and kill all other male gators," Kimmel wrote on Facebook. "Not all gators can reach this size. A combination of genetics, opportunities and diet attribute to a gator being this size."


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