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17th May 2006 03:21 EDT


Wobbegong Shark Attacks Snorkeller in NSW


A 46 year old man from Coloundra, NSW, Australia has ended up in hospital with serious chest woulds after being bitten by a 2 metre (6 feet) long Wobbegong Shark.

The man was snorkeling off Moffat Beach when he spotted the Wobbegong shark resting on the sandy ocean floor in about 3 metres of water.

The man (stupidly!) grabbed the Wobbegong shark by the tail!

"I grabbed it by the back of its tail to get it up and mobile" he remembered.

"Ive done it before, usually you just give Wobbies a flick on the tail and they go off. But this one sized me up and decided to have a go. I regret doing that now and I won't be grabbing them again. Iíll have a bit more respect for wildlife now but it wonít stop me from diving."

The man suffered 6 puncture wounds and grazing to his chest and was immediately taken to the local hospital. The man later said:

"It has taught me more respect. There's a reason why things attack you and provocation is big issue. I spoke with my son about it and I think we both learnt a lesson."

The Wobbegong shark is the only shark species that's flexible enough to twist it's head around to it's tail. Wobbegongs are also known to be very territorial and moody. The man was lucky he didn't bite him in the face.

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