Rare shark spotted close to Eilat beach, week after deadly attack in Egypt

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A rare and dangerous species of shark was spotted close to the shore of the southern city of Eilat by a Nature and Parks Authority inspector on Sunday.

Footage taken by the official showed the tiger shark entering the swimming area by the northern beaches of the city.

The sighting comes just a week after a Russian tourist died from being mauled by a tiger shark off one of Egypt’s Red Sea resorts.

Dr. Asaf Zvuloni, an ecologist at the Nature and Parks Authority, said the species was native to the Red Sea, but sightings were rare.

“The presence of the shark in our area raised quite a few questions about whether, and how dangerous it is to enter the sea in Eilat,” he said in a statement.

Zvuloni said tiger sharks could grow to a length of five meters, live for 50 years and swim in relatively shallow waters.

The Sharks in Israel association said that tiger sharks that appear in summer near Eilat are usually females that come to give birth.

They noted that several divers witnessed tiger sharks in recent days in the area, and advised beachgoers to remain calm if they have an encounter.

“Don’t make any sharp or tense movements, keep eye contact with the shark all the time, and if you feel the need, return slowly to the beach. Most sharks will move away by themselves,” they said.

“Even if you enjoy the presence of the shark, it’s important not to surround it, don’t block its way, don’t get close, and of course, don’t touch it,” they added.

Shark attacks are rare in the Red Sea coastal regions. However, in 2022, two fatal attacks in Hurghada, Egypt, occurred within days, killing an Austrian and a Romanian tourist.

In total, 57 attacks were reported globally last year, with 41 of them in the United States.

Tiger sharks are large species that reside in tropical and temperate waters and are among the sharks most cited by the International Shark Attack File for unprovoked attacks on humans.

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