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Woman bitten after posing for picture with octopus on face

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PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. (KIRO/CNN) – What a Washington woman thought would be a fun and unusual photo op turned into a painful situation when an octopus bit her on the face and injured her with its venom.

Jamie Bisceglia says she intended to enter a photo contest during a fishing derby near Tacoma, Wash., so she met up Friday to take a picture with some fishermen who had hooked an octopus.

“So, crazy me. Hindsight now and looking back, I probably made a big mistake,” she said.

Bisceglia put the small octopus, believed to be either a juvenile version of a giant Pacific octopus or a Pacific red octopus, on her face and posed.

At first, the animal grabbed her with its suckers. Then, it did something she didn’t expect: the octopus bit Bisceglia’s face.

“It had barreled its beak into my chin and then let go a little bit and did it again,” the victim said. “It was a really intense pain when it went inside, and it just bled, dripping blood for a long time.”

Both types of octopi the creature could have been have a powerful beak to break and eat crabs, clams and mussels. Their bites also contain venom to immobilize prey.

Bisceglia says the venom left her in incredible pain, but she kept fishing for two more days before she finally went to the emergency room.

“And I’m still in pain,” Bisceglia said. “I’m on three different antibiotics. This can come and go, the swelling, for months, they say.”

The victim says the whole experience taught her a valuable lesson about handling a live octopus.

“This was not a good idea,” she said. “I will never do it again.”



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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.