A 35-year-old California man suffered severe injuries on Saturday after he was bitten by a great white shark on a beach near San Francisco.
The shark that attacked the man was estimated to measure between 6 feet to 8 feet, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said.
First responders said the California man, whose identity was not released to the public, managed to swim to shore at Gray Whale Cove beach where rescuers applied a tourniquet to his right leg.
“It was only one bite and there were about 10 lacerations to the back of the right thigh,” Brian Ham, battalion chief of the San Mateo fire department, told CBS News. “Usually [the sharks are] within the surf zone, so they’re within 100ft to 200ft of the actual beach. It’s shallow but a shark can attack very close to the beach.”
The Red Triangle
Marine ecologists at Montana State University in May found that the numbers of great white sharks in northern California’s “red triangle,” which runs from Monterey Bay to Bodega Bay. The study, which spanned seven years, concluded there were 266 adult and sub-adult great white sharks in the triangle.
“The findings are a good indicator of the overall health [of the system]. As an apex predator, white sharks need a healthy structure of other animals in the lower levels in the food chain. The preferred prey of the white shark, coastal seals and sea lions, have rebounded to very high numbers, thereby providing sustainable and plentiful food sources for the sharks,” Paul Kanive, lead author and a veteran member of the California white shark tagging team, told Newsweek.
Similar research published in 2011 suggest that there were nearly 220 adult and sub-adult great whites in the same area.
California has implemented a ban on the killing of great white sharks in state waters in 1994, which may have led to the species’ resurgence.