Rescued seabird pecked out man's eye on Gower beach

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A man has been blinded in one eye after an injured gannet he was carrying across a beach on Gower, south Wales pecked his eyeball out of its socket.

Michael Buckland, 38, from Cardiff, spent three days being treated by eye specialists at Swansea's Singleton Hospital.

The seabird pierced his eyeball and cut his eyelid in two with its beak.

Mr Buckland, a welder, has been told the chances of him regaining sight in his right eye are very slim.

He recalled how he was walking on the beach with his girlfriend when the attack happened last month.

Mr Buckland told BBC Wales: "We were just walking along the beach and seen a seagull or gannet in the seaweed so I went over and picked it up - I was going to take it to the sand dunes.

"A family walked up with their dog. The dog was jumping up trying to get its tail and as I looked down at the dog all I saw was a beak coming straight towards my eyes.

"The surgeon said it pecked me about three times. Its beak went through the centre of my eyeball."

Image caption,
Mr Buckland was carrying the injured bird to safety when it attacked him

He was rushed to hospital where he had 11 stitches across his eyeball which doctors managed to replace and his right eyelid was sewn up.

Mr Buckland said he has been told he will never be able to work as a welder again.

"They said I've got to have an operation in four months time - they are going to take the stitches out and see about another operation to try and get my sight back but they said [the chances are] very slim."