Monday, July 2, 2018

Down Under Damsel Finds Out About Sharks the Hard Way

Shark drags woman into crocodile-infested waters in Australia
A “once-in-a-lifetime” trip in May for a woman in Australia quickly turned into a harrowing experience when she suffered a bite while feeding a shark, which then dragged her into the water.

Melissa Brunning, 34, was on a yacht in the remote Kimberley region in the northwest part of the country, located about 1,550 miles north of Perth, when she tried to hand-feed up to four tawny nurse sharks swimming around her boat.

Brunning told the West Australian that she didn't realize she shouldn’t hand feed a shark, until the animal became "like a Hoover," sucking her right index finger into its mouth full of rows of razor-sharp teeth.

“I think the shark was in shock as much as I was ... the only way I can describe it is this immense pressure and it felt like it was shredding it off the bone,” she told the paper. “I came up and I was like, ‘I’ve lost my finger, my finger’s gone.’”
Video of the attack at the link. It's not all that bad. The shark apparently confused her finger with a wiggly piece of chum; a perfectly natural mistake in the circumstances. She got off pretty lightly.
The shark also pulled her into the water of Dugong Bay, which is inhabited by saltwater crocodiles that can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh more than a ton, according to Sky News.
While salties do, in fact, cross large areas of blue water in their travels, they mostly hunt in turbid estuaries, so the chances of being eaten by one in the few seconds she was in the water were vanishingly small.
The entire harrowing encounter was captured on video, which shows Brunning screaming as she is dragged into the water before the boat's crew and her friends pull her out.

Nurse sharks are "bottom-dwellers" that are mostly harmless to humans, according to National Geographic. They are up to 14 feet long and have "very strong jaws filled with thousands of tiny, serrated teeth," the magazine notes.
The shark was identified as a Tawny Nurse Shark, a common enough shark known to most eat octopuses, crustaceans and small fish. It has a lot of small, sharp teeth which account for the shredding her finger received.

From her Instagram posts, Melissa seems to be an outdoorsy, nature loving sort. I hope this doesn't do more than teach her a little due caution where toothy critters are concerned.

Wombat-socho was a day late with "Rule 5 Sunday: Crystal Hefner".

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