ORLANDO, Fla. - We're hearing from a 9-year-old boy who survived a gator attack in St. Cloud, Fla.
James Barney told news crews how he fought off the alligator after it bit him in a lake Thursday.
Barney is still recovering from surgery, but was able to hold a news conference from his hospital bed.
He told reporters he jumped in the lake to cool off, felt a tug, thought one of his friends was messing with him, then realized he was fighting an alligator.
"I felt it's 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 it's jaw open a little," said Barney.
Doctors found an alligator tooth in his back.
Wildlife investigators want to use that tooth to make sure they have the right gator when it's caught.