ONCE BITTEN: A lemon shark attacked after being provoked at Whitehaven Beach last week.
ONCE BITTEN: A lemon shark attacked after being provoked at Whitehaven Beach last week.

Shark bites back after teenager grabs its tail

A LEMON shark last Tuesday attacked a foolhardy young man at Whitehaven Beach after he attempted to grab the animal by the tail.

Fifteen-year-old Wilson Statham said he saw the small shark swimming in shallow water and was "in shock" after it bit him on the forearm while he tried to pull it from the water.

"I grabbed it by its tail and pulled it out of the water.

"As I was pulling it out of the water, it latched onto my forearm and wouldn't let go," he told Channel 9 in Brisbane.

Mr Statham was treated by a former paramedic at the scene before being rushed to hospital.

He received 30 stitches and was fortunate the bite narrowly missed severing the artery in his arm.

The lemon shark is a stocky and powerful shark that favours shallow tropical waters and can grow as large as 3.5m.

Lemon sharks typically feed at night and are not considered a threat to humans.

There were many respondents to the post on Channel 9's Facebook page but compassion for the teen was in short supply.

Mitch Howard summed up the sentiment of many: "As the old saying goes, 'play with fire and you will get burnt'. Hope you learnt your lesson young fella."


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