A picture may be worth a thousand words, but is it worth a trip to the hospital and a potentially severed hand? Apparently, Katarina Zarutskie, a 19-year-old Instagram model, thought it was worth the risk. The college student and blogger, who shares travel and lifestyle tips on her Instagram, was on vacation in the Bahamas with her boyfriend and his family when the incident occurred.
On Compass Cay, a popular destination for tour boat operators that allow guests to swim with nurse sharks, Zarutskie spotted an area where the sharks were swimming. She saw multiple people in the water and, despite warnings from her boyfriend’s family, the influencer ventured into the water to get a photo with them. According to Exuma Online, nurse sharks are usually harmless to humans, and the tourism website promotes the opportunity to swim with them.
This particular frenzy of sharks, however, didn’t appreciate the company. When Zarutskie laid back in the water, a shark bit down on her arm and dragged her underwater. She immediately pulled her arm above water to prevent the blood from dripping and attracting more sharks; she knew flailing about and panicking would only make matters worse, and stayed impressively calm in the frightening scenario.
In the month since the attack, Zarutskie has been taking multiple antibiotics to recover from the bite and prevent infection. She does not blame the sharks for her injury, recognizing that, “they are wild animals and it’s an uncontrollable situation,” and calling the incident “a big learning lesson.”
We know Instagram models and influencers will go to dangerous lengths for their photos, but we can’t help but wonder: is it worth the likes?