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March 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Keep Away from the Sharp End!

from the March, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Dutch celebrity biologist Dr. Freek Vonk (34) was flown to a hospital in Miami after a reef shark bit him on his upper arm during filming for a Dutch television series at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas in February.

"Unbelievable how well [the operation] went," Vonk writes. "Especially given the fact that my arm was in pieces and I could even see my muscles!" He sustained some nerve damage and still has no feeling in the skin of his forearm. "Nothing vital was hit; the tendons and muscles in my right upper arm are largely in order. I can move my hand, fingers, and my arm."

Vonk says he was in search of Caribbean reef sharks near the island. "This one was friendly. Sharks are harmless to people," he says, "but it went wrong. One of the sharks made a mistake and took a big bite out of my right arm. I knew immediately that this was bad." He stressed that he had been bitten and that it was not an attack.

Guido Leurs from Save Our Sharks, an organization dedicated to sharks protection, said "Situations with Caribbean reef sharks can quickly be dangerous if the sharks are conditioned by feeding from a boat, so the sharks associate the sound of a boat with getting food. It can be very dangerous."

Of course, sharks have a mouth full of extreme shark teeth and are wild animals.

(Source: NL Times)

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