MELBOURNE, Fla. – He's in a lot of pain, but wildlife trapper James Dean is fortunate to be out of the trauma center and able to share the most dangerous wild animal attack of his 20-year career.
"It was scary because I didn't know if I was going to survive," Dean said about the attack Monday afternoon.
Dean was called to a Melbourne neighborhood where a 200-pound wild boar was chasing small children. Dean said he trapped the boar, but it was so strong, it knocked open one side of the trap.
"And all I could do was kick him to get him back in. He grabbed me by the leg and shredded the inside of my left calf," Dean said.
The trapper's arm and eye were also hurt and required stitches.
Dean said along with alerting paramedics, he called his son, who came out to the scene.
"It looked like someone had gotten killed there," Christian Dean recalled.
The 56-year-old trapper was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center.
In what some might call true trapper toughness, Dean said he ultimately wrestled the hog back in his trap, even after being hurt.
He said someone else later shot the hog three times to kill it.
Christian Dean called his dad the toughest guy he knows.
"He's definitely dodged death on multiple occasions," he said.
Dean said he's unsure how long he will be out of work while he recovers.
"I still want to go back to work. I enjoy getting out in the public and just doing something good for the community," Dean said.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help cover Dean's medical expenses.