ORLANDO, Fla. - A young boy who was attacked by an alligator in an Osceola County lake described his ordeal Friday afternoon.
The alligator bit 9-year-old James three times, leaving several wounds on his body. Barney was taken by helicopter to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando in good condition.
James, speaking from a hospital bed, he said the attack was a surprise.
"At first I thought someone was playing with me and I didn't know what happened. I reached down, and felt its jaw and teeth. I didn't know what to do. (I) hit it, it was letting go a little. I had enough strength left to pry its jaw open. It was slipping. That's how I got the scratches," James said.
James' doctors said just hours after escaping the gator
"I got to Arnold Palmer real fast. Everyone here said I was brave, I was nice. They said, 'Hey, what's this?' and they pulled out a tooth, and showed it to me and
James' father was with him at the hospital and said he is grateful that his son survived the attack.
A 911 caller described the scene following the attack.
"We heard him screaming
The swimming portion of the lake has been closed to swimmers while trappers work to catch the alligator. James jumped into the water in an area where swimming isn't allowed.
Trappers said they spotted the gator, which they said appears to be 400-500 pounds, early Friday morning but weren't able to catch it.
One woman told Channel 9 that there are plenty of gators in the large lake.
"I live 2 miles down the road right on the lake