Diving pelican crashed into swimmer
www.chinaview.cn 2008-05-12 14:16:50   Print

    BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A 50-year-old woman was attacked by a diving pelican when she was swimming in the sea off Florida, media reported Monday.

    Debbie Shoemaker of Toledo, Ohio, was swimming Thursday near Treasure Island, west of St. Petersburg, when a pelican suddenly crashed into her face, leaving a wide gash on her cheek. The collision also cost the bird's life.     

    The woman was immediately hospitalized and had to have 25 stitches to close the three-inch gash in her face. "It was like somebody took their fist as hard as they could and smashed it into the side of your face," Shoemaker said.

    "The event just keeps happening in my mind over and over and over," She added. "It could've gotten my eyes. It could've gotten my throat. It could've knocked me out in the water."

    Shoemaker returned to her home in Ohio on Friday, where she may face plastic surgery. She is currently recovering from the incident.

    "He either saw a fish and went for it or mistook her for a fish. I think the former is much more likely," said Anita Pinder, director of development at Sanibel Island's Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. "The person had nothing to do with it; she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time because they pelicans clearly do not attack."

    (Agencies)

Editor: Du Guodong
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