Model bitten by shark while posing for photos

Staniel Cay Marina

Staniel Cay Marina

Zarutskie, who attends the University of Miami, had been on vacation with her boyfriend and his family and had heard from locals that swimming with nurse sharks was a fun and safe activity.

The BBC reports she'd finished lunch one day on Staniel Cay with her boyfriend and his family when they came upon people snorkeling with nurse sharks.

Katarina made a decision to swim with a herd of nurse sharks at Staniel Cay - but things went wrong when a 5-foot nurse shark bit her arm and started to drag her under the water.

When asked whether she went into the water because the the post would generate a lot of hits on Instagram and increase the number of followers, Zarutskie replied "no".

Would she swim with sharks again?

"Next thing I knew I was underwater, I felt this and adrenaline just kicks in", she said.

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One user wrote: "I think you handled the situation like a boss!"

Thankfully she was okay and just had to get stitches and antibiotics for her injuries, though she does still have some fragments of teeth left in the wounds. The model did not even plan to upload the images to her social media page until she was approached by journalists about her experience earlier this week. She believes the bite was "all a big accident" and the shark may have mistaken her for a piece of food.

As for Katarina, she know that the sharks didn't do anything wrong.

"You really need to respect them" she explained, but warned future shark swimmers to "take into consideration the risks" before jumping in the water with them.

She does not want the experience or photographs to put off others from visiting the area or interacting with local wildlife when overseas, and describes the Exumas as the "most handsome place" she has ever visited.

Zarutskie is a nursing and business student at UM, and also a model.

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