According to the New York Daily News, the veteran commented that the attacker "was sitting on a bench near the entrance and he said 'I hate sea turtle people, you f---ing bother me, get out of here."
After this, the man walked up to the habitat and started removing the protection tape and sticks.
When Mr. Pannaman informed the man that he was breaking the law and took out his gun to deter him, the attacker grabbed the gun and shot the veteran.
"He said 'I'll shoot you with the flare gun' and I said 'it's a real gun,'" Pannaman said in the interview. "He pointed it at my chest and in that split second I turned away from him so he would not be pointing (the gun) at my chest. If he fired into my chest I'd be a dead man."
The veteran managed to turn around before the man shot him and the bullet entered his left side, leaving him alive.
Mr. Pannaman was taken to the hospital and will remain there for about 4 weeks.
Here are some adorable baby animals for you:
This veteran took a bullet to save some baby sea turtles
(Photo Credit: Corbis)
(Photo Credit: Corbis)
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(Photo credit: Getty Images)
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(Photo credit: Shutterstock/Natalia Melnychuk)
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)
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(photo credit: Maureen P. Sullivan)
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