Originally Posted by Katt Fink
Hunt starts to destroy killer shark
2004-07-12 / Agence France-Presse /
A hunt was launched yesterday for a man-eating shark that killed a surfer at a popular West Australian beach.
Helicopters and a government fisheries vessel began scouring waters in the Margaret River region south of Perth attempting to find one rogue shark, possibly two, that fatally attacked the 29-year-old man Saturday afternoon.
Witnesses said one shark knocked the man, named by police as Perth resident Bradley Smith, off his board then another savaged his midriff as he fell into the water.
"The shark came up and bit his board and he was in the water. Another one just launched out of the water and got him and that was it," an onlooker told Perth's Sunday Mail newspaper.
The attack took less that 45 seconds but Smith's injuries were so extensive that he was dead by the time locals dragged him to the beach.
Television footage showed the mangled remains of his board with the back half completely bitten away.
Two of Smith's friends were taken to hospital suffering shock.
Police said one shark was reportedly five meters long and the other three meters, with the larger believed to be the initial aggressor.
Surfer Bart Mulder said he was walking towards Left Hander's Beach when he heard about the attack.
"We were going to go down to the beach for a surf and a couple of blokes came up and said, 'Don't go down there - somebody's been bitten in half by a shark'," he told ABC television.
"It's the first shark fatality down in the southwest here. Its hard to say how I feel about it, but it won't stop me surfing."
One witness told Sky News that two teenagers who pulled the victim out of the water said the shark was "as big as a car."
Locals questioned why the beach, a popular spot for novice surfers and tourists learning to board ride, had not been closed.
The shark is believed to be a great white, also known as a white pointer, the same species depicted in the Steven Spielberg movie "Jaws."
Great whites are listed as vulnerable and protected from hunters in most Australian states.
However, the ban is limited in West Australia and state fisheries department spokesman Tony Cappelluti told the Sunday Times his officers had authority to hunt down and kill the man-eaters.
Aquarium of Western Australia marine biologist Sasha Thompson said great whites were in the area to prey on whales during their annual migration north from Antarctic waters.
I understand that it is necessary to protect the lives of innocent humans when in danger in any situation, but jeeze.. at least in America, convicts spend an average of (if I remember correctly) 13 years on death row having their case evaluated and faught before being executed, and some get away clean. Maybe I am being unreasonable, but is it absolutely necessary to destroy these "monsters"? Is there absolutely no way they can simply be moved to a safer location or something? Even with the technology we have these days, no one can think of a better way around this? How are they going to find these two very specific animals anyway, did they create composit sketches of the sharks and are they planning to do a suspect line up? Maybe I am just ignorant to the fact, but I have a feeling some innocent sharks might be taken victim in the process of finding the two offenders. Seeing as most intently malicious humans who are entirely conscious of their decision to take the life of another human aren't hunted down and killed on the spot of the murder scene, don't you think they could be a little easier on an animal, who relies entirely on what their instinct tells them to do? They are treating the situation like these two sharks got together months ago and premeditated the whole thing. Maybe I am just being silly, what are your thoughts on the story?