Man blinded while trying to help bird
A man has been blinded in one eye after an injured bird he went to assist pecked his eyeball out of its socket.
Michael Buckland spent three days being treated by eye specialists after a gannet pierced his eyeball on a beach holiday in South Wales.
The 38-year-old, from Cardiff, has been told the chances of him regaining sight in his right eye are "very slim".
Mr Buckland was on holiday at Gower near Swansea with his girlfriend when they spotted the injured seabird.
He scooped it under his arm to take it to higher ground, away from the incoming tide.
But the animal panicked when it saw a family in the distance with a dog, subsequently lashing out at Mr Buckland.
He said: "I was only trying to save it but it began attacking me in fright.
"I had a flap of skin on the top of my nose and a big gash across the top of my nose. I then put my right hand to my face and I felt there was a big hole where my eye was meant to be.
"My eye was hanging out and I had to put it back in on the beach. I didn't feel it was there until I felt it at the side."
He was rushed to Singleton Hospital in Swansea, where he had 11 stitches across his eyeball which doctors managed to replace and his right eyelid was sewn up.
Mr Buckland has been told he will not be able to work as a welder again.
He added: "The surgeon said it pecked me about three times. Its beak went through the centre of my eyeball.
"My eyelid was ripped off on my left eye. But if I didn't blink in time, I would have lost that eye as well.
"All I can see through my bad eye now is a bright light. I can see bright colours and bright lights, but that's it.
"They said I've got to have an operation in four months time - they are going to take the stitches out and see about another operation to try and get my sight back but they said the chances are very slim."
Bird charity the RSPB said the incident involving Mr Buckland was "extremely rare".
A spokesman added: "If it is absolutely necessary to handle a wild animal, you should do so with extreme caution.
"But we would recommend that if you see an injured animal, you report it to the RSPCA."
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 5 Muslim women's rights campaigner writes heartfelt letter to girls thinking of joining Isis
Ukraine crisis: Putin will cut gas to Europe unless Russia is paid by the end of the week
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Missing Mexico teachers: Protests organised by union quashed in violent police crackdown
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we now know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...