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Teen bitten by unknown, large marine animal while lobstering in Key Largo

The bite was so severe he had to be airlifted to the hospital

Recreational and commercial spiny lobster season opened Aug. 6. Photo by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Recreational and commercial spiny lobster season opened Aug. 6. Photo by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

KEY LARGO, Fla. – In the Florida waters, there may be plenty of fish, lobster, and stone crabs, but there are also plenty of predatory creatures — which is why, although rare, incidences of shark and alligator attacks occur monthly.

One South Florida teenager learned this the hard way, except his case is unique — he has absolutely no clue what bit him.

According to the Miami Herald, a 15-year-old boy was lobstering on his family’s boat in Key Largo on Saturday when suddenly his legs were bitten by an unknown underwater creature.

Even state wildlife police officials don’t know what exactly got him.

“It could have been a barracuda or a shark,” says Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokesperson Officer Bobby Dube. “I don’t know. It’s unconfirmed.”

It all started at 7:31 a.m., when the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call that a teenager had been bitten by a shark.

According to the FWC, he was bitten on his left calf and left ankle, as well as his upper right thigh.

After the attack, he was brought ashore by his family to Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. Then, he was airlifted out of the Keys via a Miami-Dade rescue helicopter and is now at Kendall Regional Medical Center.

Thankfully, he was in stable condition as of Saturday night.

However, not even he nor the medical professionals know exactly what bit him.

“He didn’t see anything,” says Dube. “The water was murky. Then it was bloody.”

FWC doesn’t investigate possible shark attacks, Dube said. Only alligator.

“We do alligator bites and crocodile bites, but not shark,” he said.

Recreational and commercial spiny lobster season opened on Aug. 6 and runs through March of 2022.

For more information about lobster season, click here.


About the Author:

Nicole Lopez-Alvar is a Miami-born and raised journalist and TV personality covering South Florida and beyond for Local10.com.