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Very Real

Model Bitten, Pulled Under While Posing With Sharks During Instagram Photo Shoot

Katarina Zarutskie’s Instagram photo shoot was derailed when one of the nurse sharks she was posing with bit her arm, pulling her under.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Notorious Celebrity Freak Accidents

Sometimes, you just have to take a risk to get the perfect pic.

Katarina Zarutskie, a 19-year-old model and California native, was on vacation in the Bahamas with her boyfriend’s family last month when she was bitten by a nurse shark while attempting to take photos for social media, according to BBC News.

While nurse sharks are largely harmless to humans, they will occasionally bite defensively if stepped on or otherwise bothered, according to National Geographic. Unfortunately for Zarutskie, that seems to be exactly what happened after she spotted others snorkeling in a pool of nurse sharks and got into the water with them for an impromptu photo shoot.

As her boyfriend's father took photos, Zarutskie began floating on her back in the water after a local resident encouraged her to do so, reports BBC News. Soon, one of the sharks bit Zarutskie on the arm and pulled her under. She stayed calm, however, and rather than panicking, she covered her wound and pulled her arm out of the water so that the blood wouldn't spread, according to BBC News. It was her quick thinking that allowed her to get out of the pool safely.

“I think if someone was screaming and flailing around it definitely could have changed the situation,” she told BBC News.

Zarutskie has reportedly been recovering from the bite, which left fragments of teeth in her arm, with the help of stitches and antibiotics. In the meantime, her Instagram following has increased by more than 10k followers since she posted a series of photos showing a play-by-play of her experience, Harper’s Bazaar reports.

“PSA: Sharks are cute and can nibble at times if not careful,” she captioned her original post. Unfortunately for Zarutskie, she has recieved some backlash due to the photos. The 19-year-old told BBC News that she's received “rude and hateful” comments from strangers online.

While Zarutskie walked away from the experience without any life-threatening injuries, she urged others to know the risks before getting into the water with sharks.

“You can’t even predict how another human is going to react to situations, let alone an animal. I definitely will be thinking twice but it won’t be scaring me away!” she told the BBC.

Sadly, not everyone who's taken a potentially dangerous photo for social media is as lucky as Zarutskie was. Instagram daredevil Jackson Coe was found dead on July 6 having apparently fallen from a six-story apartment building in New York City. Megan Scraper, Ryker Gamble, and Alexey Lyakh, members of the YouTube group High on Life, died in the same week after falling nearly 100 feet off of a waterfall in Canada.

[Photo: Katarina Zarutskie]