Florida boy fights 9-foot gator and survives

(AP)

A young boy who was attacked by an alligator in a lake in the US state of Florida described his experience on Friday from his hospital bed.

James Barney said he was riding along St. Cloud’s Lakefront Park in Thonotosassa on Thursday when he felt hot and jumped into the lake.

Seconds later, he was attacked by what appeared to be a 9-foot (2.7 meter) alligator.

“At first I thought someone was just playing with me and I didn’t know what happened,” said James.

“I reached down to go grab it and I felt its jaw, I felt its teeth and I didn’t know what to do, so I immediately reacted and hit it a couple times. So, then it was letting go a little and then finally I had enough strength left to pry its jaw open a little,” he added.

The boy jumped into the water in an area where swimming wasn’t allowed.

The alligator bit the nine-year-old three times, leaving several wounds on his body.

Barney was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Orlando in good condition.

James’ doctors said the young boy wasn’t complaining of any pain just hours after escaping the reptile.

The swimming portion of the lake where the incident happened was closed while trappers were working to catch the alligator.

They said they spotted the animal early on Friday but weren’t able to catch it.
(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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