Fla. Man Rescues Dog From Gator's 'Death Roll'

Mike McCoy says alligator came out of nowhere and pulled his chocolate Lab, Jake, into the water
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2021 8:30 AM CDT
Fla. Man Rescues Dog From Gator's 'Death Roll'
An alligator is seen in the Pantanal wetlands near Pocone, Brazil, on Sept. 12, 2020.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Mike McCoy has read up a bit on alligator attacks and what to do if you find yourself in one—and good thing, because he was able to put that knowledge to use this week. McCoy and Jake, his 8-year-old chocolate Lab, were taking a stroll Tuesday near a pond behind a middle school in Holiday, Fla., when Jake stopped to check out a bush. That's when a gator leaped out of the water, dragged Jake from the shore, and pulled him into the water. "He was in a death roll with that thing," McCoy tells NBC News. That's when he took action, implementing the gator tips he'd learned from his informal studies, sticking his thumb in the animal's eye and picking it up out of the water so it couldn't swim away with its mouth still clamped around Jake.

McCoy and Jake finally broke free, and a nurse from the nearby middle school helped bandage McCoy up before he drove himself and Jake to receive further medical care. McCoy had to get stitches on his left hand—the gator had repeatedly bit him as he tried to free Jake—and Jake suffered multiple bites, but neither of them was seriously hurt. "He's on the mend," McCoy tells WFTS of Jake's recovery. "He's full of spit and vinegar today." The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tells the outlet that efforts are being made to capture the gator, believed to be between 7 feet and 9 feet long. (Read more alligator stories.)

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