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Stingray Steve put me in hospital
7:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in Southend
A MAN spent three days in hospital...after he was attacked by his pet stingray!
James Hunt, 23, was left in agony as his stringray “Steve Irwin” buried its venomous 3-inch barb into his wrist as he moved it from one tank to another at his flat in York Road, Southend.
The creature has been named in honour of eccentric wildlife expert Steve Irwin who was famously killed by a stingray while filming a documentary in 2006.
But luckily James has lived to tell the tale.
He said: “The pain in my arm was excruciating.
“I was in agony and dropped it on the floor and rushed to the bathroom.
“The intense pain was from my wrist to my elbow then it started going towards my shoulder. I felt like I was dying.
“I put my arm under the cold tap, but I was told later I should have put warm water on it as it stops the venom from spreading in your body.”
James was comforted by his partner Danielle Wright, 22, brother Shane, 30, and his partner 27-year-old Victoria Long.
Brave Shane also managed to a rescue the male motoro stingray, risking his own safety by picking up the stranded fish and placing it back in the tank.
James added: “I am just thankful I wasn’t on my own.
“They gave me oxygen and morphine in hospital, but I was still screaming in pain. I must have sounded like I was in labour.
“I remember asking the doctors to not let me die, but I tried to keep calm because if you panic it makes the venom spread faster.”
He told how he bought two 15-inch stingrays for £150 on Sunday, August 25, from a private seller and put them in a temporary tank.
The attack happened as he tried to move them to a new 6ft, 1,000-litre tank the following day on Bank Holiday Monday.
James said: “I had just moved down from Sunderland to Southend with my partner and bought them from someone in Derbyshire on the way down.
“I picked them up and put them in a tank when we moved into the flat and there was no problem, but I think they must have been a bit tired because of the journey.
“The next day they had more energy and I got one out of the tank and got half way to the other one when it stung me with it’s barb.
“Luckily my partner and my brother and his partner were with me and called an ambulance.”
James, who has kept fish for five years, told how his stingray share a tank with other tropical species including two oscars, a blackbelt, a red devil, a pleco and a red tail catfish.
And James says despite what happened he is still very fond of little Steve.
He said: “It was my fault.
“I knew they could be dangerous and I just took a chance.
“I was tired from the move and only had three hours sleep. I won’t be doing that again! “The swelling has gone down a bit, but my hand is still pretty numb.”
Mr Hunt, who is unemployed, faces several weeks of physiotherapy and is on a course of antibiotics to ensure the wound doesn’t become infected.
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