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News Clippings

Saturday 19 August 2000 (Daily Telegraph)

Holiday story with a sting in the tail
By Paul Stokes

A WOMAN who carried a scorpion in her hand luggage during a 14-hour journey home from a Caribbean holiday said yesterday that she was lucky to be alive.
When Janet Marshall emptied a bag of shells she had collected in Tobago the scorpion ran across the kitchen floor of her home in Elland, near Leeds.

Mrs Marshall, 46, a mother of two, said: "I got the fright of my life. I feel very lucky to be alive. The scorpion's sting is deadly. It makes my skin crawl when I think about how long I'd sat with it on my lap."

Mrs Marshall and her sister, Carole Kendall, 49, had been visiting their 81-year-old father. While paddling in the sea they picked up a conch shell which was kept on a shelf above Mrs Kendall's bed at their hotel.

Mrs Kendall said: "I was going to throw the shell back into the sea because it had what I thought was a dirty mark on it. We thought it could have been a flattened dead scorpion but never thought any more of it.

"We realised something was wrong when we got home and the 'dirty mark' was gone. The next thing the scorpion came scuttling out and we all screamed."

The 2in-long creature was handed over to an exotic pets expert, Barry Naylor, who said: "This scorpion could kill a human in less than an hour. I tested its venom by putting a mouse in its tank and the mouse was dead within a minute of being stung."

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