Wobbegong Shark Bites Surfer

Harry and Molly Hilder visit their dad Shane in hospital Photo: Marianna Hilder
Harry and Molly Hilder visit their dad Shane in hospital (Photo: Marianna Hilder)

Shane Hilder was surfing with his daughter Molly over the weekend when he was bitten by a wobbegong shark.

The high school teacher was around a 55 yards off a beach in Caloundra, Australia when the incident occurred.

Mr. Hilder originally thought an adult body surfer had bumped his leg underwater, but felt that it was heavier than that.

“It had a lot of weight to it so I knew it was something big and that’s when I jumped back and it bit me,” he told ABC News.

The roughly 4-foot long shark quickly let go and brushed against Molly.

Molly said “Dad was screaming and I was screaming because it touched me”

The duo made it back to shore where Mr. Hilder examined his injury and realized he needed medical treatment.

Thankfully the wobbegong shark didn’t sever any tendons and Mr. Hilder only needed stitches for the roughly 2 inch wound on his right foot.

"Orectolobus leptolineatus alor" by prilfish from Vienna, Austria
“Orectolobus leptolineatus alor” by prilfish

Wobbegongs, also known as a carpet sharks, are rather docile creatures and normally only bite when threatened.

They are territorial and have been known to bite divers who swim to close.

In addition, they often do not immediately release their victim, which can cause further issues.

Mr. Hilder harbors no ill will, saying “It was an accidental bite, (Wobbegongs) don’t go out and hunt people.”

“He just ran into me and bit me to tell me to go away.”

This is the third bite in Australia for 2016.

On January 4, spearfisherman Allan Countryman was bitten and on January 1, an 11-year-old was bitten by a reef shark while wading.

The approximate location has been marked on the 2016 shark attack bites tracking map.

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