A 6-year-old girl was bitten by a shark while visiting a shark tank in China.
The girl, identified as Xiao Li, was visiting a mall with her grandmother in the city of Guiyang on July 24.
The two decided to view the shopping center’s open-air shark aquarium.
According to Xiao Li’s grandmother the shark leapt up and bit the girl’s hand.
However, representatives from the mall said surveillance footage shows (graphic link) the girl was playing in the water before she was bitten.
Xiao Li had nine puncture wounds to her right hand, along with fractures and severe tendon and nerve damage to her index and little finger.
She was treated by Dr. Hong Xiao of the Guizhou Orthopedics Hospital and will likely need additional medical treatment.
A spokesperson for the center said there are signs and messages warning visitors to be alert of the sharks, but they have agreed to pay for the child’s medical expenses.
While some sharks can survive well in captivity, they are still wild creatures and should not be handled. Even experienced aquarium personal have been bitten by captive sharks.
Once such incident was captured on video in South Africa. A diver was attempting to administer drugs to a pregnant grey nurse shark in 2012. As one of the team tried to control the movements of the shark with a pole, the animal spun around and grabbed the diver’s arm.
The diver was able to get free and surface with a severely lacerated arm.
There have been 57 shark attack bites (44 with injury, 12 of which are considered provoked*, and one fatal**) reported in 2018. Eighteen were reported in the U.S., with seven occurring in Florida and two in Hawaii. Fifteen have been reported in Australia, none fatal. Six unconfirmed bites worldwide were not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**One possible scavenge