Diving pelican slams into swimmer's face in Gulf off Florida

By: AP
By: AP

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) -- A swimmer is recovering after a pelican apparently diving for fish slammed into her face off 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. The bird died.

The chief of the St. Petersburg Fire Department says he never heard of a diving pelican colliding with anyone.

An expert surmises the bird was diving for fish and hit Shoemaker by accident.

The 50-year-old woman returned home Friday.

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