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Phuket marine experts believe Japanese tourist bitten by Blacktip Reef Shark

PHUKET: Experts from the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the Phuket Marine Biology Centre (PMBC) are of the opinion that a Blacktip Reef Shark might have bitten a Japanese man’s foot while surfing at Kamala Beach today.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 16 August 2017, 05:09PM

Kamala rescue workers received a report at 12:30pm today (Aug 16) that a tourist had been bitten by an unknown marine animal at Kamala Beach near Kamala Police Station.

Rescue workers arrived at the scene to find a male Japanese tourist with wounds on his left foot.

One rescue worker said, “The male Japanese tourist was surfing 200 metres from the beach. He ran to the beach for help after he discovered that he had been bitten by an unknown marine creature.

“We assisted him with first aid. He said he wanted to go to the hospital by himself,” the rescue worker added.

A local resident said, “The wounds were similar to a barracuda bite. This kind of fish has sharp teeth. We have found that there are a lot of these fish around coral reefs near the shore.”

Laguna Golf Phuket

The Japanese man was later identified by Bangkok Hospital Phuket as Mr Keita Koshigoe, 37.

Dr Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong, Chief of the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the PMBC, noted, “After checking the wounds we believe that it was a Blacktip Reef Shark.

“These sharks can be found near the coral reefs close to the shore in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. These sharks are about one to two metres long at a mature age. They are not fierce. They like to eat small fish. The shark (probably) thought that the Japanese man was a bait, so it attacked,” Dr Kongkiet said.

“This incident was similar to the incident two years ago at Karon Beach (see story here). At that time many marine experts believed that it was a Bull Shark bite. These sharks are very fierce. Some people believed that it was a puffer fish but actually it could also have been a Blacktip Reef Shark."

“There is no need to worry as these incidents happen very rarely,” Dr Kongkiet added.



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Foot | 17 August 2017 - 12:49:22

Unprovoked attacks on humans by barracuda are extremely rare.

Kurt | 17 August 2017 - 12:39:11

...."no need to worry as these incidents happen very rarely".., the doctor said.
Call it bad luck when it just happen to you. 
But for sure, it is not a shark bite.
Like a price in lottery., but than different.

CaptainJack69 | 17 August 2017 - 11:34:02

Yep, looks like Barracuda, makes sense too, they can be very aggressive and are known to attack humans. Could also be Moray Eel. Heck it could even be a large trigger fish.

One thing it does NOT look like is any kind of shark bite. Not in line with Black-Tip behaviour either since they are known to be very shy of people.

simon01 | 16 August 2017 - 19:23:50

Looks more like Barracuda as they have 2 front teeth and then 2 further back with that sort of spacing. A black tip will have a lot more teeth marks and much more tearing as it tried to pull the foot down. This looks very like a barracuda teeth pattern. 

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