Florida Man Fights Off Alligator That Attacked His Dog: 'I'd Fight Tooth and Nail for Him'
A 13-foot alligator grabbed the 6-year-old rescue pup and tried pulling him into the water while his owner was taking him for a walk
Trent Tweddale and his dog, Loki, were enjoying a Monday morning walk on his Wesley Chapel farm in Pasco County, Florida, when a 13-foot alligator attacked the 6-year-old rescue pup.
According to Tweddale, the gator jumped out of the marsh and grabbed Loki by his front arm and started dragging him back into the water, he told local NBC affiliate WFLA.
"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," Tweddale, a former Army staff sergeant, said. "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."
While the owner got out of the scrap with a few minor injuries, Loki had to undergo emergency surgery. The gator nearly took off the pup's front leg during the encounter.
"When I pulled him back up, the bones were out and it looks like the arm was just hanging by a shred," Tweddale said. "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."
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After the incident, the dog owner set a trap for the gator on his property with help from Florida Fish and Wildlife.
"The trapper did not have any bait, so I grabbed one of my roosters and we used him as bait for the trap. We haven’t had any luck yet," Tweddale explained. "We love our dog a lot and I’d fight tooth and nail for him."
Florida residents are in the midst of alligator mating season, a time when the wild animals sometimes behave more aggressively.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), they begin courting in April, but the mating continues through May and June. Females typically lay their eggs in late June and July.