Aquarium diver bitten by shark

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A diver at an Australian aquarium was bitten in the face by a shark during feeding time.

The event occurred at the Shipwreck Cove exhibit in Melbourne Aquarium whilst the diver was swimming in a large mixed exhibit tank.

The female diver was taken to hospital for treatment of three small lacerations to the right side of her face after being bitten by a tawny nurse shark. Although these sharks can grow up to 3m in length, this one only measured 40cm. They are also generally docile, although they do have small sharp teeth – arranged in a comb-like fashion – which are used to feed on their prey such as small fish, octopus, sea urchins and crustaceans.

The aquarium issued a statement emphasising that safety is paramount but that events such as this cannot be planned for: "While we adhere to best practice operating procedures for the care and management of animals at the aquarium, the nature of our business is such that these types of incidents will happen from time to time."

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