Surfer Loses Hands to Shark

2 great whites killed after Western Australia attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Suggested by pg13
Posted Oct 2, 2014 11:47 PM CDT
Updated Oct 3, 2014 2:16 AM CDT
Surfer Loses Hands to Shark
A male tiger shark hangs tied up on a fishing boat off the Western Australian coast during a controversial shark cull earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Sea Shepherd)

A 23-year-old surfer in Western Australia has lost both hands and one arm from the elbow down in a shark attack that has renewed debate on the state's controversial shark cull policy. A witness says Sean Pollard believed he had been attacked by two bronze whaler sharks in a "feeding frenzy," but authorities say it's much more likely that a great white shark was responsible, Perth Now reports. Two great whites were caught and killed after the attack off the remote Kelpids Beach yesterday, but officials say that since it "is common for sharks to disgorge stomach contents," it may not be possible to confirm if either shark was involved in the attack. None of the 172 sharks caught under the cull program were great whites.

Pollard, an electrician and semi-professional Australian rules football player, also suffered lacerations to his leg and is being treated in a Perth hospital, the Australian reports. After the attack—which his girlfriend witnessed from the beach—he was assisted by a fellow surfer who ran to assist and an off-duty ambulance officer. The director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says the incident demonstrates that culling and killing sharks doesn't work. "There is no such thing as a rogue shark, they don't exist—they exist in Hollywood in films like Jaws and that's it," he tells the Australian Broadcasting Company. The policy was suspended earlier this year, and the government plans to introduce shark barriers at beaches instead, though none were planned for the beach where Pollard was attacked. (Read more shark attack stories.)

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