Two mauled in shark attacks off Russia's east coast
A great white shark, such as this one off South Africa in 2009, is suspected in two attacks off Russia's east coast.
August 19th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Two mauled in shark attacks off Russia's east coast

Swimming has been banned in the Sea of Japan off Russia's Far Eastern Primorye Territory after two shark attacks in the past week have left two people hospitalized, Russian media report.

The first attack occurred Wednesday when a 25-year-old man lost both arms up to the elbow, Pravda reported. He was hospitalized in serious condition but expected to survive, according to the report.

Witnesses said the shark was about 13 feet (4 meters) long with large fins, according to the Pravda report.

The second attack occurred in a nearby area Thursday when a 16-year-old boy suffered severe wounds to his legs, RIA Novosti reported. The boy was hospitalized in Vladivostok, the report said. The boy's diving suit prevented the shark from taking his legs, according to a Moscow Times report.

Authorities suspect the same shark was responsible for both attacks, according to the Pravda report.

Alexander Sokolovsky, a candidate of biological sciences at the Far Eastern Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Pravda that recent storms may have made the waters off Russia's eastern coast more desirable for sharks.

"After a typhoon, the waters here become even better for sharks. The sharks are very sensitive to ecology, but the water here is clear," Pravda quoted Sokolovsky as saying. "They come here for food. When there is a shortage of their common food - fish and squid - they swim here searching for bigger food - seals, for example. Maybe the shark took those two people for seals."

Great white sharks have been spotted in the region before, but these are the first attacks Sokolovsky has seen in 51 years in the area, according to Pravda.

Authorities were putting together a team to find and kill the suspect shark, according to the RIA Novosti report.

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Filed under: Animals • Russia • Sharks
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Lyndsie Graham

    That'a kind of a surprise. I never knew that sharks ever ventured that far north. I always thought that they liked warm water.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharky Sharkingham III

      Hi, I'm a great white shark and we like all kinds of water. We have what is called a 'whaler' body type and require a significant amount of oxygen in order to stay alive – as colder water contains more oxygen than warmer water we thrive in these conditions. We also keep ourselves warm by circulating warm blood to the colder parts of our bodies. Watch out though because we do frequent warmer waters because there's a lot of food there but we won't hang out there long because of the lack of oxygen so once we eat and catch a few rays to warm up we're heading back out to the deeper waters.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharky Sharkingson II

      Great post son, we know where you got your sharky smarts from!

      August 19, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharky Sharkingson Sr.

      Back in my day, us whites ruled the oceans. Then we got them blue sharks being all protected and such from them environmentalists.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rohit

    Quite a few shark incidents have been reported lately. It may have something to do with global warming.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. kale

    Great whites like cooler water. I find it disappointing that the response from the local authorities was, "hunt down the shark and kill it". Someday maybe the cows, pigs, and chickens will rise up and hunt us down for being apex predators too...

    August 19, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. AGBeer

    The BIG question that I ask in every shark attack is – What time of day/night were you swimming?

    If it was in the afternoon/evening (say after 4PM) then its THEIR FEEDING TIME. People being attacked when they come inland to feed shouldnt come as a surprise. We have a dinnertime, and so do they.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. justathought

    I think it must be a wrong identiy or the shark would come back and finished it's meal. I've heard that seals are a preferd meal for sharks. OK, now it's time for the stupid sarcastic comments!

    August 19, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarcastic comment

      Or, maybe the shark does'nt like the taste of vodka!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |

    looks like we could have a sequeal to "soul surfer"

    August 19, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Duh

    "Witnesses said the shark was about 13 feet (4 meters) long with large fins, according to the Pravda report."

    Wow, large fins on a 13 foot shark. Who would have thought it could be so?

    August 19, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chief Brody

    1 shark
    2 Attacks
    Closing all the beaches
    Hunt to kill shark

    This is word for word the script from JAWS.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. a37...

    discovery channel states that sharks dont eat people the only reason they atttack is because the figures of people, boats, surf boards, etc. scare them and unlike others they dont want to risk getting hurt so they attack: most of our animals including the sharks will most likely be extinct due to the fact that they kill them because they think theyre dangerous why even go in their territory in the first place

    August 19, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Maybe

      All scientist have are theories! They can say what they want, but animals evolve or change their habits... Maybe after the first bite, it desided it liked human blood, and that's why it attacked a second person... See I can com up with theories of shark behavior as well...

      August 19, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. m. Adams

    Why is it that since this shark attacked 2 people we have to hunt it down and kill it. You are in its territory. It is doing what it does on a daily basis. I feel for the victims and their families but that is the risk any one takes going into the ocean.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. CB002

    Have people forgotten there are sharks in the ocean and bears in the wilderness? It seems so.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. J.C.

    Eet more Russians.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. SaltyFries

    I hate when some people say that we must kill as many sharks as possible so that they won't attack and/or kill us and so that we can be safer while swimming etc... Sharks are in their natural habitat, we are the ones invading in their space.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. EKIA

    I feel badly that people got hurt, but if you go into the ocean you're at risk. The people were in the sharks domain, not the other way around. I hope they dont find it, enough sharks are killed every year needlessly.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. zeus_z

    Funny- "Maybe the shark took those two people for seals."

    These animls have the most advanced sensory organs and vision- its BS that they say they mistakenly take a huuman for a seal. BS..theyy know its not a seal they are just the top predator in the ocean just like a Lion or a Bear thats hungry- you dont hear them say "The lion thought the person was a zebra" ...

    August 19, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharky Sharkingham III

      Hi, I'm a great white shark and in a wierd're right. We do have incredible sensory organs and our vision is ok, not great but we do see VERY well at night and in dark water so that gives us an advantage at first light and dusk which is when we feed the most. We don't know that people are people....and we really don't know that seals are seals. We just know that there is SOMETHING swimming in the water and it's of the size that we normally like so in general we'll perform an exploratory bite to see if it's something we want to eat...unless of course we're really hungry and then we just ambush attack it and eat it whatever it is. Either doesn't matter to us if it's a person or a seal. If you're in the water you're fair game.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharky Sharkingson Sr.

      I don't have a cane so the only way I can distinguish a meal from something gross is by biting it and seeing if I like the taste. The last I knew, sharks evolved for swimming and people didn't have flippers to swim around with. Why are you in my house anyways?

      August 19, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
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