A 28-year old surfer has been killed by a shark attack off France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion, emergency services said on Thursday.
The man lost his leg during the attack and was pronounced dead when he was being brought back to the port of Saint-Leu in the west of the island, emergency services told AFP.
“[The] surfer was accompanied by three friends who tried to take him back to land but did not manage,” Olivier Tainturier, a senior local official in the nearby town of Saint-Paul, told AFP.
The latest fatality is the 24th attack and 11th fatality ever recorded on the island since 2011. Due to the increasing number of shark attacks on Reunion, the island has been dubbed with the “shark crisis” to prompt authorities to improve their alert systems.
Local authorities urged the “greatest vigilance” among beach users as more people visit the coast during the season when there are high numbers of the highly aggressive bull shark.
As after previous attacks on the island, there have been operations of catching sharks in the waters of the incident.
Bull sharks are known to have a very strong bite. Unlike other species of sharks, scientists have proven that an adult bull shark can “theoretically close its jaws with just under 6000 newtons of force at the back of its mouth and over 2000 newtons at the front,” according to Mental Floss.
They are one of the three types of sharks that have been reported to bite humans (the other two are the great white shark and the tiger shark). There have been at least 100 documented cases of bull sharks attacking humans. Mental Floss explained that this typically happens, because bull sharks frequently stray in shallow, coastal waters in tropical regions – basically all the places that humans go to as well.
Bull sharks might have mistaken humans as a meatier prey.
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