When this baby nurse shark latched onto a woman and refused to let go, one can only imagine how desperate and stressed the animal felt.
Nurse sharks are typically nonaggressive animals. They tend to ignore humans altogether, keeping to themselves and spending most of their time resting. However, after swimmers reportedly messed with a 2-foot-long infant shark at a beach in Boca Raton, Florida, the animal sank his teeth into a 23-year-old woman and didn’t let go. This defensive act ultimately cost this animal his life.
A witness told the Sun Sentinel that a group of people was antagonizing the small shark and even holding the animal by his tail. Their actions likely prompted the shark to act aggressively and bite the woman, although it’s unclear whether she was in the group that harassed him.
The woman was rushed to the hospital with the baby shark still attached to her arm. The shark reportedly died before anyone even arrived to transport the woman to the hospital, where she was confirmed to be in stable condition.
We Need to Stop Messing With Animals
This isn’t an isolated event. Just months ago, in an incident that sparked widespread outrage, a baby dolphin died after being dragged from his or her ocean home and passed around for selfies by a crowd of eager tourists. Days after, a different shark reportedly suffered from severe trauma when the animal was pulled from the ocean by a man who wanted photos.
And it’s not just animals from the ocean who are at risk. A swan recently died in Macedonia when a woman forced the struggling animal to pose for pictures, and two peacocks reportedly died at a zoo in China after visitors grabbed them for selfies and even pulled out some of their feathers. The list goes on and on and surely extends beyond reported incidents.
Sharks and All Animals Deserve Better
Human interference can be deadly for animals. These animals didn’t need to die for human amusement. Never harass wildlife, and never interfere with animals for the sake of a photo—and tell your friends and family to do the same.