Shark Attack Survivor Gets “Reward” Shark Teeth on his Surfboard
Windowofworld.com – An Australian man who was nearly killed in a great white shark attack has won the right to save a shark tooth left on his surfboard.
Surfer Chris Blowes lost his leg and was in a coma for 10 days after being attacked by a shark in South Australia in 2015.
The shark’s teeth were left on its surfboard, but state rules prohibit a person from owning part of any protected animal species.
Now the state makes it an exception, and Blowes says he’s keeping the tooth as a “souvenir”.
Blowes, now 32, was surfing Fishery Bay in April 2015 when a 5.5 meter long great white shark attacked him from behind.
“The shark shook me and played with me for a while. And the shark finally grabbed my leg,” he told the BBC.
After being taken to the beach by two of his friends, Blowes was treated by paramedics and taken to a hospital in Adelaide.
“My heart completely stopped and they had to do CPR until I showed signs of life,” he said.
When police took the surfboard, according to Blowes, they found a shark’s tooth inside the board. Following South Australian law, the tooth had to be given to the authorities.
“And from that day on I wasn’t allowed to see the teeth,” Blowes said.
Under the state’s Fisheries Management Act, it is illegal to own, sell or buy any part of a great white shark and those who break the law can face a fine of up to 100,000 Australian dollars or two years in prison.
Blowes said he asked officials several times if he could get the tooth back, but it was only after a local politician heard about his case that an exception was granted.
“The tooth was left on my board. I would never kill a shark for its teeth but it took my leg (so) I can’t see a reason why I can’t have it,” Blowes said.
“Sharks don’t get their teeth back (and) I’m not going to get my legs back,” he explained.
“This is the first time a state has made an exception to this measure,” said the South Australian State Department of Primary Industry and Territories.