A diver attempting to move a pregnant sand tiger shark to an isolated tank in an aquarium in Durban, South Africa, suddenly found himself being savagely attacked by the usually docile shark.
At least two divers were in the tank at the time. It appeared that they were able to insert a tranquilizing dart into the shark. But when one of the divers attempted to turn the sand tiger shark in a different direction, grabbing its right pectoral fin, the sand tiger shark attacked the diver, biting his arm and shaking it like a rag doll.
The video was originally shot in 2012 but recently emerged online and went viral. It is extremely graphic, so be forewarned. The main action begins at the 1:15 mark:
The sand tiger shark, also known as a grey nurse shark, spotted ragged-tooth shark or blue-nurse sand tiger, is a cousin of the great white shark.
It usually swims with its mouth open, exposing three rows of sharp teeth that point outward from the jaws. Because of its size and sharp teeth, the sand tiger shark is often considered vicious or deadly but is normally docile and not a threat to humans.
Australia’s 9News reported that the grey nurse shark is commonly found in aquariums worldwide because of their docile nature and propensity to attack other objects in their tank rather than divers when they become aggressive.
There has only been a few unprovoked sand tiger shark attacks on humans, but this one was clearly provoked, as the diver grabbed the shark’s fin. Obviously that agitated the pregnant shark.
“This was a routine procedure for pregnant sharks that has been conducted successfully all over the world,” the YouTube video description said. “But this time it didn’t work out so well, shredding the diver’s arm.”
The diver was quickly whisked from the tank and the wounds treated.
The Daily Mail reported that the injuries to the diver’s arm and hand were serious, but he made a complete recovery and eventually returned to the tank.
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