Tourist Attacked By Shark In Cancun

A Canadian tourist suffered a severed arm as the result of a shark attack Monday while swimming near a hotel in Cancun, Mexico.

Officials say the 38-year-old woman, identified in some reports as Nicole Ross and in others as Nicole Ruth, also suffered serious injuries to her left leg.

"A female shark attacked and left her badly hurt," Mario Castro, head of the local civil protection office, told the El Diario del Yucatan newspaper.

Ross was reportedly swimming about 50 feet from shore with companions when she encountered the shark.

The medical director of a private hospital where Ross was treated, Dr. Italo Sampablo Lauro of Hospiten, called such a shark attack "exceptional" and rare in Cancun.

"We've not had this kind of incident here previously," he said.

According to news agency Notimex, there was a shark attack near Cancun in 2008 which claimed the life of a local man.

Sharks are a tourist attraction at the Mexican resort, with tours taking visitors to swim with
non-threatening bottom-feeding nurse sharks and to observe the creatures from Plexiglass cages.

It's believed the shark that attacked Ross was female and had come close to shore to give birth. The type of shark involved in the incident had not been determined.

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