Aussie Girl, 10, Survives Shark Attack
Or maybe a mackerel; officials aren't sure about source of hand injury
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2014 10:55 AM CDT
A no swimming sign is displayed in this 2013 file photo.   (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Brett Phibbs)

(Newser) – A 10-year-old girl was attacked by what may have been a shark off Australia's east coast and suffered an injury to her hand, officials said today. Paramedics were called to a beach at Lennox Head, 120 miles south of Brisbane, after receiving a report the girl had been bitten on the wrist, a spokeswoman for the New South Wales state ambulance service said. Paramedics treated the girl at the scene and took her to a local hospital, where she was later reported in stable condition.

Though initial reports pegged it as a shark attack, the Australian notes that a hospital rep says the truth of that is unclear, and a local surfer claims the girl suffered only a mackerel bite. (A police rep also seemed to dial down reports of a serious hand injury, saying the child's thumb suffered a scratch.) Although sharks are common off Australia's coast, the country averages fewer than two fatal attacks per year. Nevertheless, the country launched a controversial shark cull aimed at protecting swimmers earlier this year. (Click for the only-in-New-Zealand story of a guy who, bitten by a shark, stitched his own leg—then hit the pub.)

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