Biologist bitten by a shark in the Bahamas

A biologist was bitten by a shark in the Bahamas February 1.

Dutch celebrity biologist Freek Vonk was filming a scene for a new television program when he was bitten on the arm.

Freek Vonk_shark_attack_bite_bitten by a shark in the Bahamas
Photo: Freek Vonk Facebook

“Together with fellow biologists of the [Bimini] Sharklab, we were Caribbean Reef Sharks for the studies in the island of Bimini . . . friendly, friendly sharks are like, actually all the sharks, harmless to humans. It still went wrong,” Vonk said in a Facebook post translated from the Dutch language.

“One of the sharks has made a mistake and took a big bite out of my right upper arm. I knew immediately, this is not good,” he added.

The 34-year-old biologist, who specializes in snakes, had sustained a large bite to the back of his right arm and was transported to the Bimini Shark Lab.

Vonk was treated by Dr. Samuel Grueber at the lab before being flown by the US Coast Guard to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“After a 3-hour surgery, which I’m completely under anesthesia, and more than 100 stitches, I can now do my thumbs up,” Vonk said. “Nothing vital is hit; the tendons and muscles in my right upper arm are largely in order. I can take my hand, fingers and my arm [and] normally move.”

Vonk doesn’t blame the shark.

“I would like to stress that this is an unfortunate combination of circumstances, which . . . Sharklab, my team, myself or the shark there [could] do anything about it. I just got incredibly bad luck. Many people have [dived] at this location . . . in the 27 years that the Sharklab [has done] research here, this has never happened before. “

He went on to say how special the Bimini Sharklab is and what good work they do.  He is also ready to get back into the water.

“It is a pity that I’ve had to interrupt this beautiful journey this early, but I can’t wait until I can go diving again with these beautiful animals that I love very much,” he said.

He plans on sharing all the details on the incident in the magazine Wild Freek 8.

There have been a total of 9 shark attack bites in 2017, none of which were fatal; 3 were reported in the US, all which were reported in Florida. Three occurred in Australia, none were fatal. One had no injury.

All locations have been marked on the 2017 shark attack bites tracking map.

 

Related posts