Page last updated at 03:31 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 04:31 UK

Pelican 'bombs' bather in Florida

A pelican (archive image)
Pelicans crash into water to catch fish

A woman required 20 stitches to her face after a pelican crashed into her in the sea off Florida, apparently diving for fish.

The bird, which died in Thursday's collision, ripped a gash in Debbie Shoemaker's face as she bathed near the city of St Petersburg.

The city fire chief said he had never heard of a diving pelican hit a person.

Pelicans grow to up to 30lb (13kg) and can dive from heights of 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 metres).

Ms Shoemaker, 50, returned home on Friday, the Associated Press reports.

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