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News Clippings

Friday, November 12, 1999 Published at 18:51 GMT (BBC)

Shopper recovers after scorpion sting.

A Northern Ireland woman has been stung by a rare scorpion during a visit to her local supermarket.

She was buying fruit in the Armagh branch of Sainsbury's on Friday morning when the arachnid attacked her. It is thought the scorpion was in a box of bananas.

The shocked customer was rushed to Craigavon area hospital for treatment.

Sainsbury's staff alerted the local police and contacted USPCA welfare officer Michael Gillen.

He said his main objective was to remove the scorpion as quickly as possible and try to get it identified for the victim's sake.

He was given a police escort from Portadown to the Ulster Museum where the identification was carried out.

The scorpion, which probably came from a South American country, was then brought to local insect and reptile expert Andy Jeram.

"It's a rather pretty little black scorpion with yellow legs and measures about two inches long," he said.

"It is certainly venomous, and belongs to the family which contains all the really dangerous scorpions.

"There are about 400 different species in that family and of those only about 20 are seriously dangerous.

"This one doesn't appear to one of the really dangerous scorpions but I still really would not like to be stung by it because most of them have a venom which is significantly more powerful than a bee sting."

Craigavon area hospital say the woman was discharged on Friday afternoon with only minor injuries to her hand.

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