Shark Attack: Teenage Girl Killed Off Reunion

A 15-year-old girl has died after a shark tore her in two while she was swimming off a beach on Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean.
The victim is understood to have been less than five metres from the shore at the bay of Saint-Paul, northwest of the island, when she was attacked at around 2.30pm local time.
"Part of her body was carried away by the shark," said Gina Hoarau, the director of public safety in Saint-Paul.
"The conditions of the attack are surprising. You wouldn't think that a shark would get this close to the shore," she added.
The teenager, who lives in mainland France with her mother, was on holiday visiting her father who works at a yacht club in the area.
She was snorkelling in an unsupervised area where bathing is forbidden due to high shark numbers, officials said.
A friend who was with her at the time of the attack managed to swim back to shore and emergency services including lifeguards, firefighters and a police helicopter were called to the scene.
It is the second deadly shark attack this year off the French island, situated east of Madagascar, and brings the total of shark-related deaths there since 2011 to five.
But it is the first time in at least three decades that a swimmer, rather than a surfer, was the victim.
Local authorities this month renewed safety warnings following an increase in shark numbers.
French politician Thierry Robert last year described a marine reserve near the bay of Saint-Paul set up six years ago to safeguard coral reefs as a "shark's larder".
There has been little shark fishing off the island since 2009 because of a toxin currently found in their flesh that causes food poisoning.
Locals claim tiger and bull shark populations have multiplied as a result.
In May, a 36-year-old Frenchman on his honeymoon was killed off the popular beach of Brisants de Saint-Gilles on the west of the island while surfing.
A spate of shark attacks last year off Reunion island prompted France to hire a team of professional fishermen to kill around 20 of them, but Paris has refused to mount a more widespread cull.


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