Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shark Attacked by 14-Year-Old Girl - Sort Of

"Shark 'just defending itself' " (February 3, 2010)

"A 14-year-old Invercargill girl bitten on the right hip by a shark at Oreti Beach on Monday night believes it was defending itself.

"Recovering at home yesterday, Lydia Ward said she bore no ill feeling towards the shark, which reacted after she stepped on it twice.

"Lydia, who was at the beach with her parents and 10-year-old brother Alex, said she was in chest-deep surf about to catch her last wave when the encounter happened about 6.30pm. 'When I first stood on it I tried to tell myself it was piece of driftwood.'..."

The shark was not available for comment.

Seriously? Lydia Ward's okay, apart from a couple puncture wounds about 22 centimeters apart. I make that to be about eight and three quarters inches apart.

Her parents didn't believe her at first, when she said a shark had attacked her. Since the holes in her wetsuit - and in her - didn't match either her teeth, or her brothers, they came around.

Awfully broad-minded of them, I suppose.

The article includes the usual 'don't panic' advice from a conservation officer. Quite properly, too. Shark bites happen, but so do attacks by dogs. And differences of opinion between pedestrians and vehicles.

The young lady, we're told, did the right thing by giving the shark a "nudge."

And - I'm inclined to agree with the self-defense argument. If somebody stepped on me, I'd be likely to react. I wouldn't bite, but then I've got more options that a shark does.

That second step, by the way, was an accident: she was trying to step away from the critter.


Brigid said...

I think you could expect that sort of response from just about any animal that gets stepped on. Like cats.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...


Agreed. I've read that many snakebites, for example, result from someone treading on a sunning snake. You'd think we'd see it: but some of the critters have pretty good camouflage.

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