NEW ZEALAND police have announced that a woman has died from a suspected shark attack at a popular beach.
Police were called to reports of a woman injured in the waters of Waihi Beach, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island in the early hours of Wednesday evening (January 6th).
A police statement said that “initial indications suggest she may have been injured by a shark. Sadly she died at the scene a short time later”. Her death could be the 25th recorded shark fatality in New Zealand’s history and the first since a 46-year old man was killed at Muriwai near Auckland seven years ago.
Waihi Beach, an idyllic tourist hot spot, claims it is “one of New Zealand’s safest surf beaches and home to a vibrant and friendly beachside community”. Despite this promotion, there have been occasional shark sightings in the area over the last few years including a 3.5 metre male spotted last February.
Shark attacks have reportedly risen in the last 12 months due to an increase in pandemic “staycations” and a change in hunting grounds for the animals due to overfishing and climate change.
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