Ten-year-old Dawud Lee survived a sting from a potentially deadly Portuguese-Man--of-War on a trip to the beach – and got a wildlife lesson at the same time.
The Penzance boy was stung while playing on the sand at Perranuthnoe, West Cornwall. The creature went with him to hospital – in a jar – and having recovered from the ordeal, Dawud is fascinated by it.
His mother, Yasmin Lee, said: "My children were playing by the waves and noticed this thing in the water. They picked it up with a stick and it fell on my son's foot. He said it was like knives stabbing into him."
Hopping up to a nearby cafe, the Bolitho School pupil immersed his aching foot in water before a paramedic arrived. "It did swell up a little and there were some welts but thank God it wasn't any more serious," said Yasmin.
After being checked over by doctors at West Cornwall Hospital, Dawud headed home – along with the stinging culprit as a memento of his painful day at the beach.
Quick-thinking Yasmin had collected the creature from the sand after her son was stung in case doctors needed to identify what had caused the injury.
"Dawud was intrigued by it and is really into wildlife and animals. It is luminescent and looks like an alien life form, she said." Yasmin added it was currently in a jar at the family's Penzance home but would be buried in the garden. Dawud has also reported the incident to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, which compiles a database on animal sightings.