Nine-year-old James Barney Jr is lucky to be alive after a 400-pound alligator attacked him when we went swimming in a restricted area of Lake Tohopekaliga in Florida.
He sustained 30 bite marks, but amazingly, none of them were life threatening.
The boy explained his brush with death to reporters:
“At first I thought someone was just playing with me and I didn't know what happened.
“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 of times.
“And then finally I had enough strength left to pry its jaw open a little.”
One of the alligator’s teeth got stuck in James’ skin: “The tooth is pretty big. I wanted to keep it but animal control came in and took it so they could find the alligator that attacked me.”
James is expected to make a full recovery, and he says he won’t be going back into that lake anytime soon.