A Vancouver Island woman believes a shark bit off part of her finger in B.C. waters while she was trying to surf for the first time.
Kaitlin Dakers, 23, of Campbell River, was in Tofino earlier this month when the apparent attack happened.
“I went to jump on my board, and I lost my balance and I fell in the water. And when I went to grab my surfboard, I realized there was a lot of blood in the water,” Dakers said.
Dakers was taken to hospital in Campbell River, thinking the rope tethering her to the board caused the damage, but her doctor said that's not possible.
“The doctor said, 'This looks like a bite,'” said Dakers.
Dakers believes she was attacked by a salmon shark, which is found in B.C. waters.
But Nick Dulvy, a University of British Columbia professor and co-chair of an international group of shark specialists, is skeptical.
“There has never been a shark attack in Canadian waters and there's never been a shark attack by this species,” Dulvy said.
Nevertheless, Dulvy isn't discounting Dakers's story.
He said he hopes to see pictures of her injury that would give experts in his group insight into what may have happened.
With files from Kendall Hanson