Palm Harbor man fights off gator to save daughter’s dog

Pinellas County

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – When Buddy Ackerman took his daughter’s golden retriever, Osi, out for a bathroom break early Monday morning, he didn’t give it a second thought.

“He walked along … walked along here and I’m just coming with him,” said Ackerman. “And he settles on right where there’s no grass down there.”

There is a small pond behind Ackerman’s Palm Harbor condominium, and out of nowhere, a gator came and chomped down on Osi’s hind legs. Ackerman grabbed Osi’s leash and began having a tug of war with the alligator.

“And I just start kick, kicking at the alligator,” said Ackerman. “I hit him a couple of times in the snout and that’s what caused him to let go, perhaps. I hope so, I don’t know. ”

Ackerman called the gator hotline and a trapper came and captured a gator from a nearby pond. He’s assuming that is the gator that attacked Osi, but neighbors report seeing another, even larger gator in that same pond.

Remarkably, Osi wasn’t hurt. Ackerman’s daughter now has the dog back in the Orlando area.

He says he feels thankful Osi is okay. He knows this could’ve had a tragic outcome.

“I mean, I had this dog on a collar or a halter that went around. It wasn’t going to slip off,” said Ackerman. “If I had had a regular collar at that and it slipped off … he would’ve been gone. “

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