Woman bitten by baby shark in Brazil fined for her reckless actions

A woman in Brazil spotted a baby shark in the surf and decided to pluck it from the water and get a photo with it, but the shark had other ideas, latching onto her finger like a sprung mouse trap.

According to Diario de Pernambuco, the oldest newspaper in Latin America, the woman’s boyfriend was filming her and went to her aid, while still trying to film, as seen in the video taken by another tourist:

The incident occurred Monday afternoon on a beach within the Marinho National Marine Park in Baia do Sueste in Fernando de Noronha, a volcanic archipelago about 215 miles off the northeast coast of Brazil.

As you can see, they eventually pried the baby shark’s jaws loose and released it back into the water. But that was hardly the end of the misadventure.

The 35-year-old woman only identified as J.B.M., a resident of the coastal city of João Pessoa, was taken to São Lucas Hospital where she received four stitches, according to a second report by Diario de Pernambuco.

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In the meantime, the video of the incident sparked strong criticism on social media and got the attention of local officials, resulting in the woman sustaining a second bite—this one out of her pocketbook.

On Tuesday, J.B.M. stood before the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity “to provide clarification on this reckless act,” the Brazilian newspaper said.

She was subsequently charged with the “environmental crime of molesting an animal inside a conservation area” and fined an undisclosed amount. It was probably at least $1,600 USD since that was a fine given a São Paulo tourist in 2014 for the same infraction, the Diario de Pernambuco reported.

Whatever the amount, the photo op proved costly on several fronts.

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