A 58-year-old tourist on the Big Island of Hawaii was hospitalized late Wednesday with wounds to his thigh and arm after being bitten by a shark while snorkeling with his family.
The man, who was vacationing from Kansas, was not identified, but the shark, which was spotted from the beach after the attack, was believed to be a tiger shark measuring 10 to 12 feet.
The incident prompted the closure of Hapuna Beach State Park. KFOR reported that if Thursday morning flyovers did not reveal sharks in the area, the park would reopen at noon.
Tiger sharks can grow to about 16 feet and are opportunistic feeders. They’re often implicated in attacks that occur in Hawaiian waters.
Among their favorite prey items are sea turtles, which they attack from below. It could be that tiger sharks sometimes mistake the silhouette of a swimmer or surfer as being that of a turtle.
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