A day at the mall turned into a nightmare for a woman after a shark reportedly bit their 6-year-old granddaughter.
The incident took place at a shopping mall in the city of Guiyang, China. The little girl was standing next to an open-top aquarium so she could look at the sharks during a shopping trip with her grandmother when the accident happened.
The victim, only identified by her nickname Xiao Li, was holding onto the edge of the open-top tank when the shark swam to the water surface and attacked the girl, its sharp teeth biting into the girl's rigth hand.
Xiao Li's grandmother claimed the shark had jumped out of the water before attacking the child. However, the authorities at the shopping mall insisted the 6-year-old had put her hand into the water.
“In our CCTV footage, the child is seen reaching into the water, which is why this has happened,” said the mall’s sales manager. “If you don’t put your hand in the water, a shark wouldn’t normally jump out and attack.”
In an interview, the girl's mother insisted that Xiao Li had not put her hand in the tank.
“She did lean against the aquarium glass, but she didn’t reach into the water, the shark just jumped out of the water and attacked her,” she said.
CCTV footage from the shopping mall showed the fish biting onto the girl's hand, but it was not clear from the footage whether she had put her hand in the aquarium.
Unsurprisingly, passersby and fellow shoppers moved away swiftly as the shark approached the little girl.
The video showed signs saying "Do not reach into the water," "Warm reminder to our dear customers: our aquarium has sharks, groupers, sea turtles and other types of aggressive of fish" and "Parents, please take good care of your children" placed around the tank.
The staff at the aquarium also reportedly warned people to be careful.
"Without touching the water, there was no possibility that the shark would leap out,” the mall’s spokesman said. "The shopping center has always had a shark and turtle tank, which has the required safety measures around it, including warning signs and even announcements. There are also two staff members supervising visitors. But at the end of the day, it's the customer's own decision to approach [the shark tank].”
Xiao Li was taken to Guizhou Orthopaedics Hospital by her family immediately. The mall has also agreed to pay for the girl's medical treatment.
Xiao Li's right hand reportedly had nine bites from the shark, while her index and little fingers were fractured with extensive damage to nerves and tendons in the whole hand.
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