(WESH/CNN NEWSOURCE) Nine-year-old James Barney, still recovering from surgery, was wheeled into a news conference on a hospital bed, but didn't miss a beat. "It was a pretty big tooth. They said the alligator was about 9 foot."
James survived an alligator attack in east Lake Tohopekaliga in St. Cloud.
James told reporters he jumped into the lake to cool off... felt a tug... thought one of his friends was messing with him...then realized he was fighting an alligator. Fighting to save his young life.
"I felt its jaw, I felt his teeth... I didn't know what to do so I immediately reacted and hit it a couple of times so then it was letting go and finally I had enough strength left to pry its jaw open a little."
His surgeon says they've given James antibiotics; literally pressure washed the wounds and, while in the ER, they found an alligator tooth embedded in his back.
"And they said ‘hey what's this?’ And they pulled out a tooth and showed it to me. And I said ‘oh I want to put it on a necklace.’ "
After the attack gator trappers went to work to try and snag the gator believed to be 9 to 10 feet long.
And when asked if he's going to swim in the lake again James did not mince words.