This idyllic island is ground zero for the world's MOST SAVAGE shark attacks

Authorities on the island ban tourists from doing anything more than dipping a toe in the water.

This idyllic island is ground zero for the world's MOST SAVAGE shark attacks
(Left) Réunion Island, the lagoon in front of Saint Paul and its pass; Great White shark. Pics: Mai-Linh Doan/Getty Images
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Shark attacks have become quite common lately across the globe. The latest victim of the horrifying attack was reportedly a 68-year-old Austrian woman, who was killed in Egypt. Though many beaches in the US and Australia are reportedly not ideal for swimming or having fun inside the water because of these predators, there is one island — outside these countries —- which is considered the world’s number one spot for deadly shark attacks.

As per reports, Réunion Island — a French department in the Indian Ocean — is world-famous for its scenic beaches, waterfalls, rainforested land, and coral reefs. It apparently offers the world's best rum but is also one of the deadliest locations because of shark attacks. The gorgeous location just allows tourists to dip a toe in the beach water. However, if they want to swim, coral lagoons are open for it.

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Dan Duane, host of ‘Réunion: Shark Attacks in Paradise,’ explained: “From 2011 until 2019, there was a terrible uptick in the density of [bull] sharks there. The French call them bulldog sharks, but pit bull is more appropriate. They thrash and tear. These are f–king horrifying things.”

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Hermitage Beach (Hermitage) - Lagoon of Gilles Les Bains - Reunion Island (Getty Images/ Lepretre Pierre)

Duane was reportedly not quite sure about the exact number of sharks at Réunion Island but he told The New York Post, “There are anywhere from 300 to 3,000.” It has been said that since 2011, 11 people lost their lives because of these man-eaters, while eight people were left severely injured. But the tragic incidents have reportedly not affected the footfall as in 2017 alone, 500,000 tourists went there.

Duane said, “In the space of two months, on this small stretch of sand, one guy [got] a leg bitten off, two guys [got] chewed to pieces, another guy [got] his canoe bitten in half. And the same thing replicates year after year.” Reportedly, in 2019, a man named Richard Martyn Turner was snorkeling at Réunion when he was fatally assaulted by a tiger shark. The 44-year-old man’s remains were not found but after the shark was caught and an x-ray was done, “they found a shark a few days ago with his hand so we are really not sure how it happened.”

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Aerial view of reunion island, City of Saint-Denis (Getty Images/ Aymeric Bein)

The Post citing experts stated that the reason behind so many sharks being found some 420 miles east of Madagascar is that “the man-eaters travel between Australia and South Africa. It also may be impacted by the fact that there is little incentive to hunt sharks on an island where the selling of shark meat is illegal.” The report also said that locals have found a solution to it too. Duane noted, “They’re killing the sharks with these things called drumlines. It’s a big baited hook, anchored to the ocean’s bottom. The shark bites the hook and gets stuck. They keep a fisherman on call, 24/7, 365 days per year.”

“He [fisherman] has 90 minutes to get there. If it is a non-targeted [sea creature], it gets released. If it is a bull shark, they shoot it. The current count is that they have killed 135 sharks since 2014,” the podcast host remarked before mentioning it has attracted some criticisms too. But the killing technique has reportedly helped. Duane added: “There have been arguments over how to stop this from happening. Is it OK to kill sharks? Does killing sharks even work? It seems to be working. The last attacks were in 2019. So they seem to have gotten it under control.”

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300 to 3,000 bull sharks are believed to be around the island (Getty Images/ Stephen Frink)

Besides, “a special underwater fencing” built to control sharks has been evaluated but Duane pointed out, “The attacks are all pretty gruesome. Traumatic experiences of people being bitten apart.”

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