A shark has been filmed biting a woman’s finger as she fed the animals off the back of a boat in western Australia.
The alarming viral video shows Melissa Brunning of Perth, Australia, crouching down to give food to four tawny nurse sharks while on a two-week holiday in Dugong Bay.
But the scene soon gives way to horror as one particularly peckish shark clamps down on Melissa’s finger and drags her into the water.
She can be heard screaming frantically as she flails in the water before a male companion moves to drag her out.
Melissa, 34, told 7 News Melbourne that she thought she’d lost her finger it was so painful.
WATCH: Terrifying viral video captures moment shark bites Australian woman and drags her into the ocean
“It happened so quickly,” she said. “It felt like it was shredding off the bone,” she said. “I couldn’t even look at the finger because I thought it was gone.”
Mercifully the finger was still attached – although it was badly lacerated.
Due to the relatively remote location of the boat, Melissa didn’t immediately go to hospital for treatment as she hoped it would heal.
However, after the wound became so seriously infected she went to hospital in Perth for an operation to have it cleaned out.
It was there that she discovered she had suffered a torn ligament and a bone fracture.
WATCH: Terrifying viral video captures moment shark bites Australian woman and drags her into the oc
Viral video shows Melissa Brunning crouching down to give food to four tawny nurse sharks
One particularly peckish shark clamps down on Melissa’s finger and drags her into the water
Melissa has said that she knows she was in the wrong that day.
“Please let me assure you all, this is NOT a shark ‘attack’ this is me doing a silly thing and suffering a consequence,” she said in an online post.
“The water is their domain… and we should appreciate and admire them from a far.”
The message, she told 7 News, is to be mindful of your surroundings and to not feed sharks.
Tawny nurse sharks are normally a placid species but they have powerful jaws and multiple rows of sharp teeth.
Viral video: She can be heard screaming frantically as she flails in the water
Due to their relatively calm disposition adventurous scuba divers have been known to touch tawny nurse sharks, although a few non-fatal attacks have been recorded when they were “handled” by divers.
Their size and strength can make them dangerous.
Their diet consists of a variety of bottom dwelling lobsters, crabs, sea urchins, reef fishes (including surgeonfish and siganids), octopus, other invertebrates and occasionally sea snakes.
When they detect prey, tawny nurse sharks places their small mouths very close to the creature and use their large pharynx as a powerful suction pump.
Last month a video went viral of two young children swimming in the sea, only to be surrounded by two killer whales who follow them through the water.