Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hunting Season Has Officially Opened In The Seychelles, On The Menu: Euros

A shark attack in the Seychelles left a British honeymooner dead and the island nation shaken as family members and local officials coped with the second deadly attack this month. The shark struck on Tuesday while Ian Redmond, 30, snorkeled 20 yards from the shore at around 4:30 p.m. local time, witnesses said. A dingy brought the wounded man ashore alive, but emergency personnel could not save him. Redmond reportedly suffered bites on his legs and chest and lost an arm in the attack.

Earlier this month, a French tourist, Nicolas Francois Virolle, 36, bled to death after a shark attack in the same area, leading to speculation that one animal may be responsible for both incidents. Experts say it is unlikely that the same shark is responsible for both attacks, but it is possible.

Seychelles’ officials rushed to allay fears about the unprecedented second fatal attack in less than a month by calling the animal “foreign.” “The Seychelles is really innocent in this drama,” the country’s tourism board director, Alain St Ange, told BBC News. “It is a foreign shark... it is a rogue shark that has caused a freak accident.” I love how he blames a “foreign shark” for the attacks - as opposed to the local ‘friendly’ ones? (Um yeah - besides their surly temperament, rows of razor sharp teeth, and voracious appetite for live flesh, I’m sure they’re perfectly harmless Alain)

Experts from South Africa were en route to assist the search for the killer shark in wake of the tragedy, which threatens one of the Seychelles’ most important industries, tourism. Prior to August, there had not been a reported shark-related fatality in the Seychelles, famous for its idyllic beaches and pristine waters, since 1963, the BBC reported. So why two attacks within the same month after nearly 50 years of silence? Well, it could indeed be a rogue shark, but I of course have a few other theories:

• They, like any decent human being with even a fraction of good taste, are completely appalled by the sight of speedos (note to Euros at beaches and swimming pools across the world: looking at your junk vacuum packed in spandex will never be anything less than disgusting)

• They were turned off by your snooty Euro accents (Oh yeah, you think you’re better than me? -insert biting sounds here- How you like me now?)

• You were infringing on their personal space (What? You do it at Disneyland, Seaworld, Universal Studios, and every other popular tourist destination I’ve ever visited in the United States, so why not in the Indian Ocean as well?)

• You were stanking up their hood (yes, one shower a week is entirely unacceptable, even for sharks)

• They’re mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore (a la Peter Finch from the 1976 movie “Network” – a classic)

• Hello, they’re flesh eating predators and you were snorkeling during feeding time, dumbass

In summary I have a very hard time feeling sorry for Ian Redmond or Nicolas Francois Virolle. Were their deaths tragic? Sure. Do I feel for their families left behind? Absolutely. But consider this: humans kill upwards of 100 million sharks every year, while sharks kill just a handful of humans each year. We are evil. They are hungry. Can you really blame them? Long live sharks.

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