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Gator wrangled on tarmac of MacDill Air Force base near Tampa

Florida Man runs over 11-foot gator to save neighbor from attack
Florida Man runs over 11-foot gator to save neighbor from attack 01:04

TAMPA - A large alligator was wrangled by animal control and relocated to a "more suitable environment off base" after turning up on the tarmac of MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa.

Footage from the airbase shows Florida Wildlife Control officers maneuvering the thrashing reptile, reported to be around 10 foot long.

"Our newest toothy Airman has been relocated to a more suitable environment off base," the base wrote on Facebook. Photos from the base showed the gator at the wheels of a plane.

The base said the gator was taken to the Hillsborough River.

But that wasn't the only close encounter of the gator kind on the state's west coast.

On Friday, a man walking his dog near a pond in Naples was attacked by an alligator. He was rescued by a brave neighbor who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Walter Rudder was driving home at night when he saw a sight he said he'll never forget.

"I was driving and we saw a man laying on the ground, waving his arms. We pulled over, and I got out of the car and saw that an alligator had him by the leg," said Rudder.

Rudder said the 11-foot gator was dragging him toward a pond as he screamed for help. He said he recognized the man as his neighbor and friend Rick Fingeret.

Rudder said Fingeret begged him to run the gator over, hoping it would release its jaws from around his leg. He did and it worked. The gator let Fingeret free from its grasp and returned to the water. He was taken to the hospital.

The gator was later removed from the pond by Florida Fish and Wildlife and relocated. They remind all residents and visitors that gator mating season is starting soon. So if you come across one, keep a safe distance. Always keep your pets leashed and never feed or approach alligators. 

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