Saturday, April 3

Attack Victims Rise Above Hate

1958, in the waters off Oahu, a fifteen year old surfer named Billy Weaver was tragically killed when attacked by a tiger shark. It was because of this that the state of Hawaii instituted a program to hunt and kill tiger sharks if seen in Oahu's outer reef. After this we could count 4,600 sharks hunted in a span of seventeen years.

These were the times when attacks such as these would invoke a primal fear in human beings. However, the more we learn about sharks, the more we understand the important role sharks play in our ecosystem. We must get past our instinctive reaction to fear them but instead we must respect and protect them.

In an awesome showing of numbers, nine survivors of shark attacks testified on Capitol Hill for the need to protect the ocean's top predator. These people, victims of attacks-- some with missing limbs and have suffered such a trauma overcame their fear and past experience and spoke out in favor of these animals who once harmed them.

Krishna Thompson, one victim who fought off a bull shark in the Bahamas said: "What the shark did to me was what they are supposed to do... Sharks have been around for 300 million years -- before dinosaurs. They haven't changed much from then till now." 

"I don't want to find out what life would be for us humans if they ceased to exist... If we killed all the sharks, that will have an effect on us humans. That's why I'm here."

For these victims, it took a great amount of courage and self awareness to see past the fear, the trauma and the pain of personal experience for the sake of our ecosystem. There is this noble ting about experiencing such tragedy and come out of this with dignity and the desire to protect your attacker-- one of the most endangered sea animal.

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