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Jumping Sturgeon Injures Florida Woman


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Jumping sturgeon injures Florida woman

A sturgeon jumped out of a river, striking and seriously wounding a woman riding a personal watercraft, the latest such injury involving the flying fish along Florida's Suwannee River.

Sharon Touchton, 50, was later discharged from a hospital after the March 31 accident, officials said.

She had been camping with a group of personal watercraft enthusiasts near the town of Suwannee in north Florida, said Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The group went for a ride and Touchton was travelling 40 to 48 km/h before the accident.

Her husband found her floating face-down in the water and, as no one other than Touchton had witnessed the accident, it was initially unclear what had happened.

Parker said once Touchton was able to talk to investigators, she simply said something about a "big fish".

Parker said problems with sturgeon - which are large, prehistoric-looking fish with hard plates along their backs that can grow up to 2.5 metres long and up to 91 kilos - came to a head last year when 10 people were injured in accidents caused by the fish.

Researchers are still unsure why they jump.

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