TAVERNIER — Jim Harris has thrown Hells Angels out of Maine's biggest biker bar and spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War — and never suffered a scratch.
But when a stuffed water buffalo head with large horns fell off the wall, it took four 911 responders to pull the trophy from his lap.
"This is so embarrassing to get my ass kicked by a dead water buffalo," Harris said.
The 56-year-old was in his comfy recliner sipping milk and watching the 11 o'clock news in his rented waterfront home in Tavernier, when, "I leaned over to turn on the lamp and kapow," he said.
"Bubba," the 200-pound head of a water buffalo shot in Africa, fell off the wall and landed on his head and right side. The impact knocked him out.
"I guess its payback for the buffalo, but I'm not even the guy who shot him," Harris said. "It's not even mine. I don't even like hunting."
When the 6-2, 220-pound Harris returned to consciousness more than two hours later, he was trapped under the water buffalo's head. Harris thought he was paralyzed.
Fortunately, he had his cell phone next to him on the recliner and was able to reach it. On his second attempt, he managed to reach a 911 operator.
Since he could not put the phone next to his ear to hear what the dispatcher was saying, he just kept repeating his address, providing only these clues about his condition: "I'm trapped. I'm crushed."
Sheriff's Office deputies and emergency workers had no idea what to expect when they arrived a few minutes later.
Harris said it took four of them to lift the water buffalo' head off his body. Rex Andis, who has owns Bubba and the house rented to Harris, said it originally took four people to mount the wildlife trophy on the wall.
"I looked like the Michelin man when they took me to the hospital," said Harris, who had been stabilized for a possible broken neck.
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