The six-year-old girl who was attacked by a shark last week in just 18-inches of water said she forgives the animal for biting her but said she definitely likes dolphins better.
Lucy Mangum, from North Carolina, is recovering from a shark attack at Ocracoke Island that was so severe that the doctors lost count of how many stitches she had to get.
“It bit my leg and it felt like it almost stayed there,” Lucy explained.
Her mom – who was standing just a few feet away, watching Lucy and sister playing on their boogie boards – recalled the terrifying attack.
“I heard her scream, so I immediately turned towards her,” mom Jordan Mangum said. “And at that point, saw the shark right next to her. So I immediately recognized it as a shark and ran towards her, and at this point, it didn’t really cross my mind that she had been bitten. I just wanted to get her and her sister out of the water.”
But Lucy had been bitten by what experts now believe was a tiger shark.
“We got her up on the beach,” Craig Mangum, Lucy’s dad who coincidentally is an ER doctor, said. “And I had Jordan move her hand, and basically the entire lower leg from the mid calf down just sort of filleted…and I was able to see the extent of the wound. It was a pretty significant wound.”
While doctors say Lucy is fine now, she still suffered a 90 percent muscle and tendon tear, which will take months of physical therapy before she will be back to running around again.
Regarding the young girl’s animosity towards the animal that bit her, she first told her parents, “I hate sharks. I like dolphins way better.”
And, then, after her parents explained to her that the shark had made a mistake, that it really didn’t want to eat her, Lucy changed her mind.
“I don’t care that the shark bit me,” her mother Jordan Magnum said she told her. “I forgive him.”
Watch the Mangum family’s interview with NBC’s Today show below: