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,
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
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."