A woman photographing sharks at Trinidad Beach State Park in northern California was bitten by her subject.
The unidentified photographer was among a group of people watching a sick salmon shark swim in the shallows and onto the beach July 15.
Once the dying shark was in 2 inches of water, the woman approached it to take a photo. When a wave washed the shark into the woman, it bit her right foot.
The 58-year-old woman turned to run, but twisted her knee, which resulted in a second injury.
Emergency personnel were contacted around 2:00 p.m. and assisted the woman from the beach.
Although the shark bite may have required stitches, her main injury was from her twisted knee.
It is not unusual for salmon sharks to wash up on the beach. Encephalitis, a common bacterial infection which effects the brain, has been found in the shark species before.
“We are experiencing somewhat of a phenomenon. It’s fairly normal that salmon sharks get washed up on the shore in this area,” State Park Ranger Keven Harder told Tracking Sharks.
He also said there have been 4 documented cases in the last 4 weeks, which is “more than what would be considered normal. I want people to know that it is not normal behavior that a shark is trying to beach itself. Should anyone should see abnormal behavior like this, do not approach the animal, instead contact authorities.
“It is a crime to harass a marine animal so treat it as such and stay away from it. Don’t try to catch it, don’t try to take pictures with it.”
There have been a total of 54 shark attack bites (41 with injury, 9 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported in 2018. Two fatal**; 16 were reported in the U.S., with 7 occurring in Florida and 2 in Hawaii. Fifteen have been reported in Australia, none fatal. Five unconfirmed bites, worldwide, 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