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9-Year-Old Florida Boy Fights Off 400-Pound Alligator with Bare Hands [VIDEO]

GATOR

James Barney, a.k.a Crocodile Dundee, jr., fought off a nine-foot alligator while swimming in a Florida lake and lived to tell the tale.

Barney is currently recovering from superficial bite wounds and claw scrapes at a Florida hospital. He recounted his story to reporters yesterday from his hospital bed.

The young gator wrestler said it was a hot day so he biked to Lake Tohopekaliga, a lake where swimming is forbidden, to take a dip. Why is swimming forbidden in the lake? Gators, of course.

Lake-Florida
Lake Tohopekaliga Image via Daily Mail

While swimming in the lake, Barney said he felt something brush past his leg.

“First I thought someone was just playing with me and I didn’t know what happened, Barney told ABC News. “I reached down to go grab it and I felt its jaw, I felt its teeth.”

Barney hit the massive reptile and managed to pry its jaw open enough to release his limbs and swim to shore.

Witnesses said they saw Barney crawl up the beach screaming for help with the gator close behind him.

“There was a big alligator, about five feet away from him,” one witness who called 911 said, according to the Daily Mail.

Barney was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he underwent surgery on the 30 bite marks and claw scrapes on his body. Incredibly, doctors found one of the gator’s teeth in Barney’s back.

A picture of Barney's wound where doctors removed an alligator tooth.
A picture of Barney’s wound where doctors removed an alligator tooth. Image via Daily Mail

“I want to put it on a necklace so that I can tell all my friends,” Barney said.

When asked whether he’ll swim in the lake again, Barney told reporters that people should obey the law and avoid the lake.

Here’s the footage from Barney’s press conference at the hospital.

Check out these alligator encounters:

Featured image via Daily Mail

 

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9-Year-Old Florida Boy Fights Off 400-Pound Alligator with Bare Hands [VIDEO]