Sharks Think Some Humans Are Birds: Page 2

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Clua explained, "Sharks, as a main difference with marine mammals that learn from their older conspecifics, have to learn by themselves...So (attacking a human) might be a mistake at the beginning and then (later become) a more 'normal process' for a given shark to prey on a human being."

He added that attacking humans "is a problem of individual behavior of some sharks, not of a given species and even less for sharks in general."

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Austin Gallagher, a researcher at the University of Miami's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, told Discovery News, "Tiger sharks are primarily visual predators, which forage on air-breathing animals, so this was probably an investigatory situation."

Both he and Clua are against culling sharks to prevent attacks on humans. They both warn that the ocean and its marine life present inherent risks.

"The sea is not a zoo where you go to see dangerous animals without any chance of being wounded," Clua said. "If you go to sea, you must accept the rules and risks, like an alpinist accepts the risk of falling from the mountain. Why should we cut the mountain if he falls and dies?"