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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: WSOC-TV talks to girl about being bitten by shark at WB; Expert says definitely a shark

READ MORE: Girl talks about being bitten by shark at Wrightsville Beach

UPDATE: We talked with a shark expert at the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher and showed him pictures of the bite. While he can't say what kind of shark bit Parker, he's definitely sure it was a shark. He says perhaps it was a sand tiger shark.


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A teenager is recovering after a shark attacked her at Wrightsville Beach over the weekend. Kendall Parker, 13, was back home in Davidson Sunday. She told WSOC-TV in Charlotte she was in waist deep water Saturday at Wrightsville Beach with her dad and brother.

"Then I just felt something on my arm as I was swimming," Parker said. "I thought it was my dad joking around, and then I pulled it up, and it was gushing blood and they were all the way over there."

Parker says she never saw the shark and didn't realize that's what attacked her.

"I didn't even know at first," she said. "Could have been bitten by anything."

It wasn't until she got to the hospital when she found out what happened. The doctor told her she was most likely bitten by a five-foot sand tiger shark. Parker still needs to have surgery to repair a torn tendon, but doctors say she'll make a full recovery.

So will she ever go back in the ocean again. She said "probably," but for now, "The pool's good!" she said.

This wasn't the first report of a shark bite along our coast this summer. Back in June, it's believed a bull shark bit a 13-year-old girl at Topsail Beach.

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Shark attack

In my recent years of animal interactions, there is no way that a tiger shark bit this girl. It had to be something smaller but a possible darker color, could be a reef shark or sharpnose. The shark had to be at least 4 to 5 1/2 ft, and she must have been between the drop off in the ocean at 2 to 300 ft from the shore. But this is my opinion on this subject.

It's a SAND tiger

That's a completely different species than a tiger shark. They never claimed it was a tiger shark. If it was a tiger, she would have had far greater damage due to the different dentation.

Read closer. There is a

Read closer. There is a difference between and Sand Tiger Shark and a Tiger Shark. The story suggests a Sand Tiger Shark. With a Tiger Shark, there might be a different ending to this story.

Again all the experts want

Again all the experts want to disagree with the doc. As long as she is OK, that is all that matters, regardless of what type of fish did the biting. The ocean is a dangerous place. The other day my wife saw a young woman who had been in the water and had a fish hook in her foot. Not a fun thing to happen. Hope she is OK, too.

Disagreeing with docs

I may not have the education of a M.D., however, I do have actual experience with Sand Tiger sharks. First hand experience. If you are ill, you go to a doctor. If you need to know about sharks you should ask an M.D.???

That is your contention 6381.

No totally

No totally missed the point. What I meant, was every time somebody gets bitten by some sort of sea creature, and somebody, usually the doctor says what he thinks it may have been, here come the hoards of others who who want to disagree. I mean, nobody saw what it was, so, everyone's guess is purely that, a guess. She is OK, that is the main thing. It is just somewhat humorous that people will take time to try and correct others when the whole matter is only speculation in the first place. However, if it makes you feel better about yourself and superior to others, have at it.


All speculation concerning the species are educated guesses, yes. However, a Medical Doctor should be making no such guesses unless they understand the dentician of several suspect species. They furthermore need to understand the predation habits of those species. I somewhat qualified myself by telling you about the fact I dive with them. You can see my dive videos of me diving with sand tiger sharks at youtube/fpsndiver.

I also denied my anonymity somewhat with my 'screenname'. It shouldn't be hard to track me down. Chondrichtyan fishes are my speciality. So, no, I'm not trying to feel or be superior to anyone, however, nothing qualified that doctor (that was disclosed) to make his guess. His guess could demonize a threatened species of sharks which just happen to have local aggregate breeding grounds about 15 miles offshore from here.

I didn't guess the specific species, I gave a broad range. Again, I say this was probably a requiem shark, a family which includes many species with triangular teeth designed to cut and separate flesh. Sand Tiger's teeth are not designed to do so. Basing that presumption (which is what it is) on the evidence (photographs of the injuries) when one understands chondrichtyan dentition is a little better than throwing a specific breed of shark under the bus without any supporting expertise. That is all.

Sand Tiger Doubtful

The wounds on her arm that are stitched up (pics in WSN) sure don't look like Sand Tiger wounds. Sand Tiger sharks have skinny ice pick like teeth that stick out pretty massively, which is why in South Africa they are known as ragged tooth sharks. They are the same sharks usually seen in aquariums, because they look so menacing. A Sand Tiger shark bite would look like hundreds of tiny puncture wounds, not lacerated flesh.

The fact of the matter is that Sand Tigers during the daytime are relatively docile. This attack occurred in the middle of the day. Sand Tiger sharks primarily feed at night, and their food source of choice is small fish, which is perfect for them given their dentician.

The injuries to the girl's arm look to be caused by a requiem shark...bull, silky,or sandbar. They are slices, not punctures. I dive with Sand Tiger sharks all the time here offshore, and yes they are prevalent here, however, I highly doubt that these injuries were the fault of a Sand Tiger.

Sand Tiger Doubtful - I Agree

I completely agree with FPSNDIVER. I am a scuba instructor in Wilmington, and dive with sand tigers and other sharks frequently. I seriously doubt a sand tiger was responsible for this. The "attack" was probably by a sandbar, silky, or bull shark, trying to find a fish meal in the surf and mistook her arm as possibly a fish.

I'm very glad she is OK, and hope she makes a full recovery and regains full use of her arm. She has "bragging rights" to a very rare event!

It's really hard to tell, guys

Unless you see the shark, see the wound immediately, or find tooth fragments in bone, it's really hard to identify the exact species after swelling and the natural puckering of sutures take hold. Even sand tiger teeth can grate across the skin upon release, making a puncture with a scratch resemble a deep laceration in a photo.

We can certainly rule out some species, but when it comes down to identifying the bite of one of the smaller, more common species, it's simply a best guess situation.

(I still believe that if the tourists knew how many large tiger sharks are right outside those breakers, most would visit the Smokies!)

Shark Bite

Glad the girl is ok. News makes it sound like it's unheard of. It is the ocean, by the way. Just happy nothing worse happened and again glad it worked out.