A a 9-year-old Florida boy jumped into a lake when he felt hot while he was outside playing, but his attempt to cool off put him in grave danger. James Barney Jr. didn’t realize he was grabbed by a 400-pound alligator, which came at him immediately after he got in the water. At first he thought someone was playing with him, he tells ABC News on Aug. 10, from his hospital bed.
He jumped into a lake in St. Cloud and as soon as he did he felt a tug. Once he felt the gator’s teeth with his hand, he knew it wasn’t anyone playing a joke on him, he was being attacked. Speaking from his hospital bed, he tells the interviewer how he hit the alligator first and then used his hands to try and pry open the alligator’s mouth so he would let him go, according to wwltv.com Florida News today.
Holding a microphone in one hand while he told his story from his hospital bed, Barney Jr. thinks the alligator had his eye on him before he got into the water. The creature came at him so fast that he must have been watching him while he was still on land.
Putting on his brave face while telling his story of the nine-foot beast finally letting go, Barney Jr. shares that he has a bit of a trophy from the harrowing incident. He has one of the gator’s teeth. The surgeon pulled the tooth out of one of the boy’s cuts on his back.
Wildlife experts, who have closed the lake as they are hunting the gator, hope to use that tooth as identification once they catch the beast. The experts estimated the alligator was about 400-pounds and nine-feet-long from the size of that tooth, reports the Telegraph today.
Once the tooth does its job in identifying the alligator, Barney Jr. plans to put it on necklace to show his friends as he tells them about his close-call with the alligator.
Luckily he came away from the gator attack with minor injuries and he is expected to be just fine. He did however have a word to the wise, “Don’t go into that lake,” said the red-headed little hero.
Barney Jr. made national news after he was able to fend off this large creature and he did so with sustaining just minor cuts from the bites. He certainly has one big story to share with his friends when he starts back at school soon as the summer vacation from school wanes.