A scuba diver at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas has recorded an intense series of interactions with a large tiger shark that he describes as an “old friend.”
As Shark Attack News notes, Scuba Adventures’ Jim Abernethy posted the video online, which depicts him affectionately greeting a tiger shark named Tarantino. In the two and a half minute clip, Abernethy describes the shark as an “old friend,” noting that he has encountered the animal for nearly a decade.
In the beginning of the video, Abernethy moves in front of the camera, expressing his affection by petting the shark on its nose. A strong current pulls both Abernethy and the tiger shark away from the camera, before he notices and swims back. The tiger shark returns to the area as well, following Abernathy, who rubs the animal on both the top and bottom of its head. The interaction is repeated several times, before the tiger shark approaches the camera and lighting rig, bumping into it. Another diver, off camera, pets the shark, before it returns to Abernethy. As the video ends, Abernethy’s narration makes his feelings toward the animal clear.
“I wish there was some way that I could get the world to see what these beautiful creatures are really like so we can end the needless slaughter and keep our oceans healthy, not only for them but for our own existence on the planet.”
Tiger Beach is considered one of the best spots in the world for divers seeking to interact with sharks. As Shark Diver Magazine notes, the area is home to reef sharks, nurse sharks, and lemon sharks, in addition to a residential population of tiger sharks. Regulars to the site have named many of the sharks, which are over 12 feet in length and weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds. The largest tiger shark, named Emma, is nearly 17 feet in length, reportedly tipping the scales near 2,000 pounds.
— Shark Attack News (@SharkNewsToday) November 26, 2014
This summer, one of the sharks returned to Tiger Beach after a lengthy absence, displaying a horrific injury. As the Inquisitr noted at the time, the shark, named Hook, had sustained a bullet would just behind her gills. Though both an entry and exit wound showed that the projectile had passed through her body, the tiger shark luckily survived, and its injuries have since healed.
[Image: Jim Abernethy via Shark Attack News]