Instagram model, 19, bitten by shark while posing for pictures in the Bahamas

An Instagram model was been bitten by a shark during a photo shoot in the Bahamas.

While in the Staniel Cay area in the Exuma islands last month, Katarina Zarutskie decided to go swimming with a pack of nurse sharks.

The 19-year-old, who was on vacation with her boyfriend and his family, set out to join a group of snorkelers — despite the fact that her boyfriend was “freaking out.”

She told BBC News, “From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe,” adding that she has “seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram.”

While in the water, Zarutskie, who is from California and heading to college in Miami, had her boyfriend’s dad take photos of her surrounded by the sharks, which have become a local tourist attraction.

Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie had her boyfriend’s dad take a few photos of her swimming with nurse sharks in the Bahamas when one of them attacked her. (Photos: Tom Bates)

But while Zarutskie was floating in the water, one of them latched on to her arm and dragged her under.

She said she felt the shark’s teeth sink into her wrist, but managed to rip her arm free of the mouth quickly. Zarutskie then swam to shore as her arm bled.

Katarina Zarutskie has permanent scarring from the shark attack. (Photos: Tom Bates)

The injury cut her trip short. She flew back to Florida the next day after learning her wound had a high risk of infection. “[The doctors] now believe that I still have pieces of the shark teeth in my arm and I will forever have a scar,” Zarutskie said, according to NBC News.  “I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life.” 

Zarutskie has nearly doubled her following on Instagram since her story came out; however, she has since made her account private, partly because she has “received a lot of rude and hateful comments from people that were saying ridiculous things,” she told BBC. “They took the information they wanted and really spun the story in a way that I’m a stupid blond Instagram model.”

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