Florida man, 75, fights off 7-foot gator to save dog

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFTS/CNN) - The odds may not be in favor of a dog and a 75-year-old man in a fight against an alligator, but both got away and lived to tell the tale.

Buddy Ackerman says an "explosion" out of the pond behind his Palm Harbor, Fla. home was an alligator grabbing hold of his daughter's dog, a golden retriever named Osi. (Ackerman family/WFTS/CNN)

"All of a sudden, I see the water rippling right along in here - almost seemed like an explosion," said Buddy Ackerman on Wednesday.

Ackerman says that explosion out of the pond behind his home was an alligator grabbing hold of his daughter's dog, a golden retriever named Osi. He was watching the dog while she was on vacation.

"He was squealing a good bit when the thing grabbed him," Ackerman said.

Osi was in the middle of doing his business when the 7-foot-7 gator chomped down on the dog's hindquarters.

"I go up and slip and fall on my rear end, and the two of us our tugging," Ackerman said. "Alligator is going one way, I'm going the other."

Ackerman says he kicked the gator in the snout, and that's what finally got Osi loose. The pup is sore but otherwise OK.

Trappers eventually pulled an alligator out of the pond and took it away.

Florida Fish and Wildlife says to keep pets on a leash and away from the water. Gators have been active in the Tampa Bay area lately.

A neighbor took video of one that snatched a turtle and brought him back into the pond. No one is sure if it's the same alligator that grabbed Osi.

Ackerman is just glad the dog wasn't bite-size.

"I don't know what would have happened with people with little Pekingese or something running around," he said. "I guess we'd say goodbye."

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