Despite everything we know about the infrequency with which fatal shark “attacks” occur, we just can’t help reacting like vengeful ocean police when such an incident does take place.
Such was the case last Wednesday, when Adam Strange, a New Zealand-based filmmaker, inadvertently swam into the path of sharks who were looking for a meal in waters off Muriwai, on the west coast of the country’s North Island.
The New Zealand Herald reported today that while Strange’s “death was almost instant … police fired 12 shots at the shark, as it was still ‘harassing the body.’”
Strange was training for an upcoming athletic competition and had reentered the surf for a second time when the encounter occurred.
Tim Jago, the chairman of the Auckland-based Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service, was quoted in The New Zealand Herald report as saying, “Almost immediately Adam was subjected to the first of two shark attacks by what we now know to have been a bronze whaler shark. … Within a very short space of time … Adam was subjected to a second and fatal shark attack; this time by a white pointer.”
Mr. Jago’s satisfaction betrays the arrogance on which has been built man’s unsophisticated and insulting insistence that other species live by our rules or not at all.
If there is a “beast” without whose presence other species could live more comfortably, it is Homo sapiens.