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Swimmer accidentally gets caught in shark chum feeding frenzy

Sharks are incredible creatures that hold our fascination and terrorize us at the same time. We can't help but be in awe and fear of their teeth, their jaw strength and their incredible power. As hunters, they are sleek and efficient. They are the top predators in a world where we are clumsy and vulnerable and even entering the ocean strikes fear in the hearts of many. For most, Hollywood movies such as "Jaws" have contributed to our anxiety and sharks have been the cold-blooded villains of many stories. The truth is far from what we have been taught and more information is available than ever before. Only a few species of shark would consider a human as food and most species have never attacked a human who did not act improperly in the first place. Nurse sharks such as these as the perfect example. They are large and powerful, growing to 3.5m (11 feet) in length or more, but they are scavengers, as many sharks are. They prey on the injured, the sick, and also eat dead fish. The nurse shark has a mouth that is not designed to be capable of seizing a limb or severely injuring a person. They are so docile that swimming among them is a frequent and enjoyable experience for seasoned scuba divers. This is a feeding frenzy that was set up for educational purposes in a somewhat controlled environment. The sharks here are wild, but the protected area is part of a marine park in Belize. The sharks have become accustomed to being treated well by humans and they have fear and very little defensive behaviour. They swim among tourists and people on snorkel excursions, curiously approaching closely. An experienced guide has brought his guests to this area to allow them to see the feeding behaviour of the sharks as part of a learning experience about shark conservation. While attracting the sharks with a fish carcass, guests were able to float nearby to watch. But one guest from another tour unwittingly approached too closely. Oblivious to the large pack of sharks around him, he gripped the side of the boat to ask a few questions of the guides. He ended up right in the middle of a pack of jostling and hungry sharks. As they bumped each other and competed for the food, they also bumped the swimmer and pinned him against the boat. He was quickly instructed to swim outside of the feeding area. With nurse sharks, the swimmer was in much less danger than it appeared, but these are still wild animals with large teeth and an accidental injury was very possible. The swimmer was able to distance himself and enjoy the rest of the show without consequence. When observing animals close up, it is always advisable to keep a safe distance, especially when food is involved.
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