(HONOLULU) – The world’s foremost authority on shark/human interactions has confirmed that a surfer was bitten by an eel off Waikiki last Saturday night. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has now completed its investigation into the incident. The surfer who wants to remain anonymous got injuries to his left foot. DLNR staff interviewed the victim, and the information he provided, along with photos of his injuries, were discussed with George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File in Florida. The details of the Saturday incident reinforced Burgess’ opinion that the animal involved was an eel, not a shark.
Sharks of various species occur in all waters of the state, including those off Waikiki. However, to date there has never been a confirmed shark bite off Waikiki. Given the large number of ocean users in Waikiki waters, this suggests that the normal behavior of sharks is to avoid interactions with people.
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Senior Communications Manager
Office of the Chair
Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813