Woman feeding sharks gets dragged into water

Melissa Brunning prepares to feed the shark

A woman who was pulled into crocodile-infested waters in northwestern Australia when a shark bit her finger as she attempted to feed it has described the terrifying moment which almost cost her a digit.

The shark which measured 6.6 ft (just over 2m) sucked her right index finger into its mouth, full of razor-sharp teeth.

The woman was feeding fish to a shiver of tawny nurse sharks when one of them bit her and hauled her into the sea.

Brunning said all she could focus on was her finger and the fact that it was being "shredded off". "It clamped on it and it was shredding off the bone", said Brunning. "I came up and I was like, "I've lost my finger, my finger's gone".

The 34-year-old was on vacation at Dugong Bay-a remote area brimming with saltwater crocodiles and sharks-when the attack occurred. They'll usually keep to themselves but can bite or act defensively in the event that a human steps on or disturbs them.

But when she returned, she went straight to the doctors and X-rays revealed her badly infected finger had a fracture and torn ligament.

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Brunning admits she was in the wrong that day.

She warned others to be careful and not hand-feed sharks.

"I'm not a shark victim, I have full respect for sharks, I think they're incredible".

"It's not the shark's fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse", she told the paper.

She is still taking antibiotics after having surgery to fix her broken finger and said she has learnt to 'respect marine life and look at it in awe but just leave them alone'. "I've always had the opinion that when you're in the water, they're top of the food chain, it's their domain", she added.

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