Retiree Wrestles Gator, Saves His Dog
Mild-mannered Florida man dove in, and won
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2012 11:44 AM CDT
Don't mess with the Villages, friend.   (Shutter)

(Newser) – In some crazy alternate universe called "Florida," a mild-mannered retiree dived into a pond and fought a 7-foot gator that was making off with his terrier—and the retiree won. Seems 66-year-old Steve Gustafson was trimming an oak tree at his home in a retirement community when he heard what the Orlando Sentinel calls a "blood curdling yelp." He turned and saw the gator snatch his dog from the shore of a nearby pond. Gustafson then kind of wigged out.

"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," he recalls. "The only difference was I landed on top of a gator." They wrestled, and Gustafson won. At one point, he tossed the gator deeper into the pond to enable him and little Bounce to make it to shore. Both are fine. The gator, however, was later trapped and is bound for Gustafson's mantel.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Sep 20, 2012 2:05 AM CDT
i love that he saved his dog but i don't understand why it was necessary to kill the gator for doing gator things. next time, keep your dog behind a chain link fence.
Sep 19, 2012 12:34 PM CDT
Years ago, a guy jumped into one of the boiling water pits in Yellowstone to save a friend's dog. He died within minutes, as did the dog. I'm glad it all worked out for gator-guy, but sometimes, you just have to let go.
Sep 19, 2012 12:21 PM CDT
I'm not surprised. I once fought off a mule in a field that was trying to stomp my dog to death. We humans have a big advantage that animals think we're batsh*t crazy, and they may be right!