Florida man pulls bald eagle from gator’s mouth

Bald Eagle Close-Up (Photo by Galen Rowell/Corbis via Getty Images)
Bald Eagle Close-Up (Photo by Galen Rowell/Corbis via Getty Images)

Credit: Mountain Light Photography

Credit: Mountain Light Photography

You'd be hard-pressed to find a story more American than this.

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According to the Bradenton Herald, Florida man David Anderson sprung to action on Wednesday after seeing an alligator attempt to eat a bald eagle sitting on the edge of a pond in Parrish. Anderson waded into the water and pulled the eagle from the gator's mouth, an act he says was his patriotic duty.

"It's our bald eagle. It's our treasure," Anderson told WTVT. "It stands for who we are and what we are."

Anderson, who is going through chemotherapy, called his neighbor Justin Matthews, who works for Matthews Wildlife Rescue, for help. When Matthews arrived in a cowboy hat and camouflage shorts, he found an eagle whose legs were rendered useless and had blood tricking from its throat, according to the Bradenton Herald.

Rescued this male bald eagle from copper stone sub in Parrish.I misspoke when I said I rescued the eagle when in fact...

Posted by Justin Matthews on Thursday, February 9, 2017

The eagle was taken to Save Our Seabirds, and then a veterinarian, but had to be euthanized because of its injuries.

In a Facebook post, Matthews said that Anderson told him that “he couldn't watch America's symbol die.”