Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eye to Eye

Here's yet another lovely picture by Alexander, along with a funny description on his blog.

Sasha is right, these are moments which to us are funny and endearing.
It is quite obvious that the Bull Sharks are very familiar with the routine and distinguish precisely between the feeders and the bait. Mind you, these are trained animals with a long personal history of interacting with specific individuals.

Even so, we remain acutely aware of the dangers involved.
Rusi may be putting up his hand to stop the Shark - but only because he is wearing a steel mesh glove underneath his black one. Bulls have a rather poor eyesight, as documented by their tiny eyes which are so very different from those of the Reefies or the Silvertips, and a mistake can happen anytime.

On this particular incident which I witnessed personally, all happened very slowly and on a dive where the "feel" was very relaxed. Only then will the feeders consider giving a friendly pat as a sign of their affection.
Other times, things may heat up a bit more, especially when we have a lot of youngsters trying to snatch a snack ahead of the big dominant females. Then, we may close the feeding bin, take a step back and wait for matters to calm down - which they inevitably do.
This is when when the feeders' huge experience comes into play - and not, as some might think, in extending some food to a relaxed, friendly and cooperative Shark, big as he may be.

And then of course there's this video of the stupid Cuban with his bare hands, a pair of Speedos and plenty of ill-applied cojones as his only protection. It's an old one and you may have seen it already - but it still amply illustrates how NOT to do it!

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