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Thirteen-year-old Girl Punches Shark in Florida to Escape Attack

Ella Reed was bitten in the stomach, arm, knee and finger after attack from probable bull shark, but plans to return to the water

A 13-year-old girl escaped a shark attack at a Florida beach Thursday by punching the aggressive, predatory creature.

The teen, Ella Reed, told South Florida’s Local 10 News, was sitting in waist-deep water, alongside a friend, when she was struck by intense, sharp pain.

“The shark itself was so powerful,” Reed reportedly said. “That was what I felt the most because it was hitting my stomach really hard.”

Reed said that she punched the shark when it came over to her. While the shark swam away, it returned almost immediately. “It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I had to use my arm and use my hand too, so it got my arm and my finger,” Reed told the station.

Reed then shouted for her brother and mom. “It was insane because she was totally covered in blood pretty much from head to toe so she couldn’t really see what went on,” her mother remarked. “She was shaking, but she was calm.”

Reed – who was bitten in the stomach, arm, knee and finger – received 19 stitches, Local 10 reported. “I was kinda in shock about everything that happened, so I wasn’t really in pain because the adrenaline was through the roof,” Reed said.

Reed thinks that she was attacked by a bull shark measuring from some 5 to 6 feet. “It was clear water so you never really know what’s going to happen,” said Reed, who plans on returning to the water.

Florida is the shark bite capital of the world, according to the University of Florida’s international shark attack file. Of the 57 unprovoked shark bites recorded in 2022, Florida tallied 16.

While there were no shark bite-related fatalities in Florida last year, they did result in two amputations. Most of unprovoked shark bites across the globe took place in the US and Australia.

While there were five deadly attacks in 2022, the data marked a decline from nine fatalities in 2021 and 10 in 2020. “Generally speaking, the number of sharks in the world’s oceans has decreased, which may have contributed to recent lulls,” said Gavin Naylor, of the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Source: The Guardian