On Monday, lifestyle model and University of Miami student Katarina Zarutskie shared with her 13,000 followers (she now has close to 25,000) a post hinting at a shark-biting incident she had endured a month earlier. She was quickly bombarded by media requests and today we know her story.
Buzzfeed News reported on Tuesday that about a month ago, 19-year-old Zarutskie, her family, and her boyfriend traveled to the Bahamas where she was posed in some rather patriotic looking shots.
As Zarutzskie tells it, there came a day on the trip when she noticed an area where nurse sharks were swimming, and that several people were in the water with them. Hungry for a shot, she got in and floated about the typically harmless (to humans, if you stay away from their mouths) creatures.
As you can see in the main photo (captured by her boyfriend’s dad), Zarutzkie was floating peacefully when, as she put it to Buzzfeed News, “I leaned back, and then that shark he came and bit down on my arm and pulled me under.” She managed to make it out of the water without sustaining further injuries beyond her bleeding arm.
David Hocher, owner of the Staniel Cay marina where Zarutzkie was attacked sent NBC News a picture of a sign at the marina that explicitly warns guests that the nurse sharks “can and do bite.”
Zarutskie told Buzzfeed News, “I love to travel and I’ve been blessed with many opportunities.” This good fortune and love of locations has naturally brought forth a thriving Instagram presence.
True to form, Zarutskie told Buzzfeed that she is “very, very blessed and fortunate” not to have lost her hand. Nor does she harbor ill-will toward the sharks: “They are wild animals and it’s an uncontrollable situation,” she told Buzzfeed. Zarutskie called the accident a “big learning lesson.”