FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WPMI) — A Fairhope family feels lucky to have their 4-legged best friend after she went toe-to-toe with a nearly 10-foot alligator and survived.
The Brewer family said Bonnie, their 7-year-old Labrador Retriever, seems like an average dog.
Bonnie loves being outside and rolling in the grass. Most of all, she loves swimming in Fly Creek behind her family's Seacliff Drive home.
But after her battle with an alligator, Bonnie bears scars from a fight few other dogs can match.
"Very lucky, obviously. The alligator was more shocked and used to being the aggressor, not being attacked by a Labrador," said Kent Brewer, Bonnie's owner.
Brewer said Bonnie was home alone on Thursday when a family friend came by to let her out to play.
Bonnie ran right to the water for one of her favorite hobbies. She likes to charge and drag large logs from the creek.
However, this time one of her targets wasn't actually a log.
"She swam full bore toward the gator. It opened its mouth as a warning and she collided with it directly. They went under twice. She then swam 50 yards back to the dock," Brewer said.
As for the gator, Brewer says it was later removed by wildlife officials.
"The fish and wildlife official's best guess is that they're not used to being attacked. It put the gator in a defensive mode. It never turned to charge Bonnie, it just swam away," said Brewer.
Alligators are very common throughout our area but Brewer says they don't often see large ones in Fly Creek. He's just glad this one didn't take a member of his family.
"It's a scary thing to think about. Bonnie's aggressive passion for retrieving huge logs may have saved her in this case," Brewer said.
Brewer says his family was aware of sightings of a large alligator and had been keeping the dogs away from the creek.
Bonnie is expected to make a full recovery.