An Instagram Model Swam With Sharks for the 'Gram and Ended Up With a Nasty Bite

Shannon Barbour
Photo credit: by wildestanimal - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Doing it for the 'Gram has become a saying, nay, a mantra for this generation. Where others might just take that to mean going to a fun event to post it on the 'Gram, 19-year-old Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie went swimming with nurse sharks in the Bahamas, but the photos she ended up getting weren't cute diving ones from an underwater cage as you might expect. Instead, Katarina went swimming in the open ocean and ended up with photos that show the moment a shark bit her and pulled her underwater.

Katarina went to the Bahamas with her boyfriend and his family last month, and after lunch one day, she wanted to go swim with some nurse sharks, which she said are relatively safe. Even though her boyfriend's family told her that probably isn't the best idea, she wanted to interact with the local wildlife in Staniel Cay.

"From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe," she told the BBC. "I've seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram."

When Katarina first jumped into the water, things were going well. It wasn't until a local gave her some posing tips and told her to lay back, that things went awry. Katarina said the second she started floating on her back, one shark bit her wrist and pulled her under. The moment was "accidentally" captured by her boyfriend's dad who was photographing the whole thing.

Katarina said the shark held her underwater for a few seconds before she was able to yank her wrist out of its mouth and swim to safety.

She said after she posted the photos online, she received a bunch of negative comments that said she was a "stupid blonde instagram model," but you can't tell from the photos and the way she gripped her wrist and held it over her head to prevent blood from dripping into the water, that she definitely knows a thing or two. Oh, and she's also going to school for nursing and business at the University of Miami.

"At that point your body has so much adrenaline going and you just have to get out of the situation, but I stayed extremely calm," she told BBC.

Katarina had to get stitches and antibiotics for the huge bite, and there are even still some bits of the shark's tooth in the wound.

Even though getting bit by a shark was a crazy and unfortunate experience, Katarina doesn't blame the shark and doesn't want this to keep anyone from visiting the area and interacting with wild animals.

"I think anyone that goes and swims with nurse sharks needs to realize it is an uncontrollable situation," she said. "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!"

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