07 July 2005

Shark that snapped at woman's legs was dying from the effects of red tide

An expert says a shark that snapped at a woman dangling her legs at the Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge was in its death throes, suffering from the effects of red tide.

Mary Mathias is an intern with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She says she was dangling her legs over the side of a dock when a large shape appeared in the water and started coming toward her.

Mathias says the shark jumped out of the water about five feet away from her and started snapping its jaws. Then the six-foot shark stopped thrashing, rolled over on its back and died.

The director of the Center for Shark Research at Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory says the blacktip shark wasn't attacking Mathias. Bob Hueter says it was likely in its death throes from a recent red tide outbreak.

Hueter says recent outbreaks of red tide trapped some sharks in the Tampa Bay area.

He says blacktip sharks are common in coastal waters.

Source: www.tampabays10.com


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