comScore 9-Year-Old Florida Fights Off Alligator Keeps Tooth | The Mary Sue
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Badass 9-Year-Old Wins Fight With 400-Pound Alligator, Takes Tooth as Trophy

"You should see the other guy."


A story that easily could have ended in tragedy last week took a surprising turn when a 9-year-old boy fought off an alligator that was actively trying to eat him. Seriously, it left a tooth behind in one of the wounds the Florida child sustained, which he’s going to keep and make into a necklace as a conversation piece/get-out-of-bullying-for-life card.

James Barney Jr. was riding his bike in Osceola County, Florida on Thursday, probably looking for some stampeding elephants to stop with his bare hands or a supervillain to fight. When he didn’t find any of those things, he decided to go for a swim in a restricted area of East Lake Tohopekaliga, as 9-year-olds do.

That’s when the alligator attacked—or, as Barney Jr. told HuffPo, “It really amazed me what happened. At first, I thought someone was just playing with me, and I didn’t know what happened. I reached down to grab it, and I felt its jaw, I felt its teeth.”

Or, to paraphrase: “An alligator attacked me, and it kind of tickled.”

Then, he started hitting it and mustered up the strength to pry its jaw open with his tiny child hands. Yes, this really happened:

Fortunately, the boy made out out with only some bites, scratches, and his dental souvenir, and he was airlifted to a hospital, where he’s feeling pretty good. Trappers are still searching for the reportedly 9-foot, between 400 and 500-pound alligator, which is probably because it’s hiding somewhere in shame. Fair warning to the alligator: You got off easy this time.

(via UPROXX, image via Donald Hoburn)

Previously in Florida

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