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17-year-old girl punches shark on nose to escape attack

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A 17-year-old Kentucky teenager visiting Florida fought off a 5-foot shark Sunday by punching it in the nose after it bit her leg.

Caitlyn Taylor, of Louisville, Kentucky, was in Destin, Florida with her high school softball team when the attack happened, according to WHAS.

“Caitlyn says she turned around and the head of it was coming towards her with a wave and she said she turned to swim back to shore and she says she felt it just grab her and lift her off of the bottom,” Caitlyn’s mother Tracey Taylor told WHAS. “She said Caitlyn was able to break free after punching the shark on its nose.”

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office posted about the incident Monday afternoon, saying Taylor sustained six wounds from the shark attack.

“Caitlyn says she initially thought it was a dolphin in the water. It was in a wave headed towards her. She says it took her by the legs, tugged on her, and immediately turned her lose,” the post read. “Emergency personnel said Caitlyn had scrape wounds on her left leg and puncture wounds on her right leg near her knee. She required 80 stitches to that leg.”

Tracey said she had to have “120-140” stitches in total.

The type of shark that attacked her has not been determined.