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Brave scuba diver gives enormous bull shark a handshake

Bull sharks are the top predators in the waters around Fiji as long as the tiger sharks are not present. Enormous and beefy animals, they are solid muscle and teeth. Sleek and graceful, they are a commanding presence in the water. Although sharks rarely attack humans, they are animals to be respected and admired from a distance. Yet, this guide is comfortable taking hold of this shark's fin like he is giving her a friendly handshake. This scuba guide has been swimming with bull sharks on this reef for almost 20 years. He has come to know most of them by name and he is very familiar with their behaviour and their unique personalities. He knows that some of them will tolerate being touched is he is careful in the way he goes about this. But to watch him reach out with his bare hand and get so close to the rows of razor sharp teeth is an astonishing sight. The guide we see here has a serious love for sharks that runs deep. He and his fellow guides have been promoting a love and a respect for sharks for many years. They conduct controlled feedings and show guests that sharks are not the killers that Hollywood has made them out to be. The guides promote conservation and understanding. They also tale things a step further on occasion when injured or hooked sharks need a little help. Approximately 6 years ago, a massive tiger shark had come to the deeding area and they saw that she had a large hook in her mouth that prevented her from opening her jaws. This made feeding impossible and she was showing signs of emaciation. The guides lured her in close and managed to rub her nose which kept her very calm. They pulled the hook from her mouth and she was able to eat. The tiger shark returned for feedings regularly for three years, although they have not seen her in recent years. Sharks inspire great fear in those who do not understand them. Despite their terrible reputation, sharks are responsible for very few attacks on humans and even fewer fatalities. They keep the fish populations in check and by preying on the sick or injured, they ensure that only the strongest animals live long enough to breed. Without sharks, the overall health of the oceans would decline.



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