*I love my two dogs. Shepherd mix and a pit, rescue mutts. LOVE ‘em. I joked just this morning that I wish inter-species marriage was legal. But this story is taking attachment to an animal to a whole new level.
Paramedics in Boca Raton, Florida rushed a 23-year-old beachgoer to the hospital after she’d been bit on the arm by a two-foot-long nurse shark.
Here’s the kicker: the shark was still attached to her arm! He wouldn’t let go!
“She was sitting calmly, seemed to handle it pretty well,” said Bob Lemons, a spokesperson for the Boca Raton Fire Rescue. But Jaws wouldn’t let go.
Shlomo Jacob was on the beach when the woman came out of the water, with a bloody arm and a shark attached to it. He said the shark “wouldn’t give up.”
“It was barely breathing but it wasn’t letting go of her arm, like it was stuck to her,” Jacob said.
Eventually, the shark died — but still wouldn’t let go of the woman’s arm. Ultimately, the folks at Boca Raton Regional Hospital removed the fish corpse, and the woman was treated for minor injuries and released.
Nurse sharks are common, I’m told, off of Florida’s coast. They’re about 1 foot long when they are born, and can grow to 13 feet, according to a National Park Service report which also says that people swim near nurse sharks every day without incident.
NPS claims that attacks are rare, and are typically the result of the shark being bothered by a hook, spear, or hand.
Hook, spear, or HAND. The plot thickens…
Guess what? Nate Pachter, 11, said he and his cousin were snorkeling when he saw the group that included the woman holding the nurse shark by its tail moments before she emerged from the water with the extra appendage.
“The bite reflex is such that it may be some minutes before a quietly re-immersed nurse shark will relax and release its tormenter,” the park service says.
MAY release you. Damn.
NPS says that while nurse sharks have razor sharp but small teeth that rarely penetrate deeply, “Leaving sharks alone is the best tactic” to avoid injury.
Now THIS is an Oprah “a ha” moment if ever there was one. Allow me to rephrase for our readers who’ll be swimming with sharks today:
Leave the eff-ing sharks alone!