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Teens save man trying to wrestle alligator that allegedly ate his dog

"We heard later he probably didn't have a dog. He was just trying to get the gator," rescuer says.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   July 8, 2014 at 7:37 AM
| License Photo

MULBERRY , Fla., July 8 (UPI) -- A Florida man who attempted to wrestle an alligator that he claimed ate his dog found out the aquatic animal was all bite and no bark.

Matthew Pope was near Loyce E. Harpe Park in Mulberry when he tried to take revenge on the gator, but the 29-year-old quickly found out he had bitten off a bit more than he could chew.

Luckily for him, teenagers Daniel Butler and Ryan Stromsnes were nearby.

"I don't know what was going through his head because I would never even attempt a thing like that," 18-year-old Daniel Butler told Fox 13. "I just can't believe he actually tried to wrestle a gator."

Sixteen-year-old Stromsnes and Butler jumped in the water to help rescue Butler.

"He tried to grab the gator by its snout and that's when the gator got upset and broke free from his grip and proceeded to bite the man in the right arm," Butler said. "The gator dragged him under and he was gone for a few seconds. He came up screaming. I went to grab it by the belly and when I touched it underneath, the gator freaked out let go and look off.

Stromsnes helped Butler out of the water and used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from his arm. The boys called 911 and wildlife officials came and put down the gator.

"We heard later he probably didn't have a dog. He was just trying to get the gator," Stromsnes said.

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