A group of experts and photographers from the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) are conducting a study to analyze the behavior of the tiger shark in Isla del Coco.
The predator was hit by the media eye last December after a deadly attack on a tourist who was making a trip to the paradisiacal island. According to Mario Espinoza, a biologist specializing in shark ecology and behavior, this shark is a solitary and independent species.
It’s a kind of shark that feeds on everything in its path, it’s quite opportunistic… Sharks are not bad, they’re important. It is a sign that the island is fine. It is one of the few refuges in the world where there are still many sharks. But there is a risk in swimming with sharks,”
acknowledged the scientist.
In the face of a possible hasty reaction from the people in the wake of the event, Espinoza and the scientific community immediately opted to call for calm, as well as undertake a study about shark populations in Isla del Coco: the size of the population, its distribution and its behavior.
The team is currently collaborating in the development of a database of photographs of the tiger shark to analyze the individuals of this species that reside on the island.
The most common accidents with sharks occur with surfers and bathers, as explained by the biologist, these animals confuse the silhouette of the board or bather with their prey. Generally, it makes a test bite that in many cases can be lethal.
It’s unlikely to happen with diving. The incident in December was a rather isolated event. The tourist companies have more than 25 years of taking thousands of tourists to dive among hundreds of sharks… This type of event happens only on very isolated occasions, but we must remember that they are sharks, they are not ducklings or butterflies,”
said the specialist.