In Savannah, Georgia, one brave man saved his Labrador dog from an alligator.
Early in the morning of September 21, David Quarterman and his three Labrador Retrievers were having their usual exercise at Salt Creek Landing when something terrible happened. Quarterman was packing up to leave while his dogs were cooling down in the water on the edge of the boat ramp. He said he heard a terrifying noise and immediately ran to check what had happened. His worst fears were confirmed when he saw his 60-pound black Labrador, Sheba, in the alligators jaws.
“I ran as hard as I could and was hollering and yelling and cussing,” Quarterman said.“I went into the water waist-deep and saw the gator with my dog in his mouth. I hit the alligator as hard as I could in the eye with my fist. The alligator let go of the dog.”
Quarterman said he grabbed Sheba out of the water and saw the alligator pop back up before it vanished. He estimated the reptile to be five to six feet long.
Both Quarterman and his dog were in major shock, he said. The Labrador suffered a gash on her stomach and ear. She was taken to a local vet where she was evaluated and sent home to recover.
According to Will Ricks, Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ senior wildlife biologist, alligator attacks are not common in the area. Typically, alligators live in fresh water, but the department does receive up to 10 reports of alligators venturing into salt water per year. Rick said the reptiles are fond of going to public areas such as boat docks and marinas because people often feed the gators.
“Which is absolutely the wrong thing to do,” Ricks said. “The alligators will get accustomed to coming to those areas and will come looking for food.”
Rick assumes that that may be the reason Quarterman’s dog was attacked.
The biologist advises anyone who sees an alligator in its natural environment to leave it alone – don’t feed it or harass it and leave a safe distance between yourself and the gator.
Quarterman admits it may have been foolish to jump into the water with a gator, but says his adrenaline was pumping to save his Labrador dog.
He is hoping his story will bring awareness to the public to be on alert for alligators near any public body of water, even salt water.
“If you’ve ever seen a Hollywood movie, that’s what I felt like I was going through this morning,” Quarterman said.
Source: Savannah Now