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Great white shark likely bit Mass. swimmer, expert says

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BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts shark biologist says it is likely a great white shark was the animal that bit a swimmer off a Cape Cod beach this week.

State Marine Fisheries official Gregory Skomal said Tuesday he hasn’t talked to the victim, but the description of the man’s injuries, witness accounts, and the presence of gray seals near the beach fit with a great white attack.

Truro police said Christopher Myers suffered severe cuts to both legs in Monday’s attack at Truro’s Ballston Beach.  The man was conscious and able to speak to first-responders before being taken to a Cape Cod hospital.

“Witnesses said they saw (a) fin. They saw him go under water. He was hollering for help,” Truro, Massachusetts, Fire Chief Brian Davis told CNN of the incident at nearby Ballston Beach.

Davis said the man was less than 25 yards from shore when he was injured.

If it was a shark, “I’ve never seen that, not that close to shore,” Davis said.

The beach remained open Tuesday. Davis said National Seashore personnel would post a sign warning beachgoers to beware of sharks.

State officials said the last great white shark attack off the Massachusetts coast was in 1936, and the person died.

Greg Skomal, a marine biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, told CNN recently that more great white sharks are being seen off the coast of Cape Cod each year.

“As we’ve allowed seal populations to rebound over the course of the last four decades, I believe that they’ve now hit threshold levels that are drawing these sharks close to shore,” Skomal said.
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This article was provided by The Associated Press.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) || Some information from the CNN Wire was used in this report.

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