May 12, 2008

Pelican attacks Woman

A 50-year-old woman suffered facial injuries when a pelican collided with her in the Gulf of Mexico, off Treasure Island, Florida. Debbie Shoemaker of Toledo, Ohio, was in the water Thursday near St. Petersburg when the pelican's beak opened a gash in her face. She needed 20 stitches. It seems that, the pelican was diving for a fish and accidently slammed into her face.

Tourists typically are advised to be cautious of sharks and stingrays but such warnings rarely include pelicans. So, this was an unexpected accident.

"I do not recall an incident with a pelican," St. Pete Beach Fire Chief Fred Golliner said after Thursday's incident.

"A terrifying experience, especially being by myself," she said. "Nobody would have ever thought that it could happen, but it could and it did."


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