Florida Man Wrestles Alligator Attacking His 8-Month-Old Puppy

A Florida man recently went to extreme lengths to protect his eight-month-old pup.

This past Tuesday, WFTS Tampa Bay reports, Mike McCoy was walking his chocolate lab, Jake, near a pond in the Tampa suburb of Holiday, Florida. However, the pleasant stroll took a dark turn when an alligator reportedly appeared from the water and took Jake down with it.

"He was in the death roll with that old gator," recounted McCoy.

McCoy didn't hesitate to intervene and jumped right in to save his companion.

"I previously read up on my environment and gators. 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," McCoy told WFTS. "And in the interim he decided, I don't have him, I'll bite you."

A teacher at a middle school overlooking the pond watched the scene unfold from her window. "It was kind of like a snake darting really fast. It was super fast," said Kellie Mallon, describing the gator's attack. She also told the news outlet that she saw McCoy jump into the water.

Both McCoy and Jake the dog sustained injuries that required stitches, but luckily, that was the extent of the gator's damage.

Lucky dog! Jake was pulled into a Pasco County pond by a 7-9 foot alligator yesterday. Mike McCoy jumped in to save him, using his thumb to jab the gator in the eye, and lifting him out of the water. The gator released Jake. Both owner and dog suffered bites but are doing ok. pic.twitter.com/NC2COCB473

— Erik Waxler (@erikwaxler) May 12, 2021

"He's on the mend. He's full of spit and vinegar today," McCoy said of Jake. And, in hindsight, McCoy doesn't seem to have any regrets about taking on the gator. "No hesitation," he said. "It's just the way it is."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission told WFTS that they think the alligator in question was between seven and nine feet in length. Right now, they are reportedly working with a trapper to remove the animal from the area.

Alligators can be vicious creatures. A cannibal alligator was recently filmed swimming in North Carolina—while carrying the decomposing tail of another gator in its jaws. Known scavengers, the species sometimes engages in cannibalistic behavior. The video, posted to TikTok last month, has been viewed over 800,000 times.

Also last month, a Hillsborough officer responded to reports of a gator in the Tampa area. A creative deputy at the scene quickly devised the perfect method for handling the reptile: with a broomstick. As the angry alligator clenched the broom handle with its jaws, the officer used the household item to drag it back into its pond. Fortunately, no one—human or reptile—was injured in the incident.

Alligator at Everglades National Park
An alligator swimming at Miami's Everglades National Park, January 4, 2020. Paul Rovere/Getty Images