Man saves dog from alligator

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

Steve Irwin he's not, but he wrestled an alligator, and came out the winner.

A Jackson man goes head to head with a gator and lives to tell the tale.

So what would make a man go into the water like that?

Toby Evans took his dog for a swim at the Jackson Boat Landing this afternoon.

That's when the German shepherd was attacked by an alligator...and Toby turned the tables on the gator.

On any given day, you'll find Toby Evans' two-year-old German shepherd, Katz, splashing away in the Savannah.

"He really loves the water," Toby says.

But around 3 o'clock, something happened to make Katz rethink playing in the river.

"I seen the alligator right there. Right there. He wasn't that big, maybe three foot, three and a half foot long, I'll give him that. And he laid there, and it's not uncommon to see them," Toby says. "I didn't think nothing about it because usually they swim off."

But this time it didn't. Katz caught the gator's eye and the predator immediately began doing what comes naturally.

"He kept rolling, and he couldn't stop. That's when I knew something was wrong with him."

Toby went after him with his own bare hands...and what felt like an hour probably only lasted 30 seconds for the two before the gator finally loosened its grip.

"I don't see where the gator bit him," Toby says.

Katz managed to come out unscathed in the scuffle. Toby, on the other hand, was bitten along his left arm and both of his legs.

"He got me on that hand right there too."

The Department of Natural Resources tells us they were shocked to learn the gator was found in the Savannah.

"Most alligators that we see are either back off in the swamps or some of the cuts that we have off of the river," says Cpl. Cary Davis.

They were even more surprised that the gator went after the German shepherd.

"The description of the alligator that we had and the size of the alligator, they don't normally attack things that are bigger than them generally."

That's why Cpl. Davis says it's important to keep man's best friend always by your side.

"Alligators are attracted to the barking of dogs. They do tend to like to try and eat dogs if they can."

For now, Katz is not quite ready to reclaim his old swimming hole, instead preferring to keep all four paws out of the water.

DNR never found the four-foot alligator, but they say if they do end up spotting it, they'll probably just relocate it because it's so small.

It's illegal to hunt a gator in South Carolina, and you need a special permit to even trap and relocate them.


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