Woman bitten by shark while posing for Instagram photo

Ms Zarutskie has permanent scarring from the attack. Source Tom BatesMore

Thinking in a much clearer fashion than I imagine I would after having been BITTEN BY A DAMN SHARK, she swam to some nearby steps, keeping her arm out of the water so as not to attract more sharks with the blood. Zaruskie said she did not see them.

The teenager, Katarina Zarutskie from California, said she was on a trip with her boyfriend's family a month ago when she spotted a group of nurse sharks and wanted to take advantage of the photo op. "I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life".

The shark grabbed her and took her under the water.

Zarutskie maintains she "love [s] sharks". The incident took place at Staniel Cay and was captured in pictures by Katarina's boyfriend's dad.

"Against my boyfriend's wishes and his parents wishes". "I have all my fingers, I have my wrists, and I'm just so blessed it was a minor accident", Zarutske said.

"It was a very scary experience", she recalls.

"I don't regret it, and I would do it again to bring awareness", she said.

"[The doctors] now believe that I still have pieces of the shark teeth in my arm and I will forever have a scar", said Zarutskie, who noted she was anxious about the injury affecting her burgeoning modeling career.

When asked whether she went into the water because the the post would generate a lot of hits on Instagram and increase the number of followers, Zarutskie replied "no".

Katarina chose to swim with a herd of nurse sharks at Staniel Cay - but things went wrong when a 5-foot nurse shark bit her arm and started to drag her under the water. She had to get several stitches and was put on a round of antibiotics. Zarutskie said she respects all wildlife and is grateful her injuries were not worse.

Zarutskie's ordeal isn't over quite yet.

Melissa Brunning was hand-feeding a group of tawny nurse sharks on the back of a boat in Dugong Bay, in WA's far north, when one latched on and nearly took off her finger.

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