Officials don't keep track of eel bites in Hawaii
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 October, 2015 - Honolulu - Hawaiian officials stated that it was an eel, not a shark, that bit a surfer on the foot in Waikiki a few days ago. Original reports said there were dual shark attacks on Oahu in the same day. Those reports are now called into question as an eel has been blamed in the second attack on that day.
According to the AP the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it made the determination based on an interview with the bite victim and photos of his injuries.
The agency didn't specify what species of eel bit the man or why. It investigated after the initial reports said the bite was from a shark.
Hawaii's coral reefs are home to a variety of eels, including some with large mouths, long teeth and strong jaws that help in capturing prey. The snakelike fish normally aren't aggressive but have been known to defend their lairs, according to the Maui Ocean Center's website.
Officials don't keep track of eel bites in Hawaii waters but noted there is no record of any shark attacks off Waikiki.
The surfer suffered injuries to his left foot Saturday, hours after a shark attacked a man off Oahu's Lanikai Beach.
"As an island state, we are surrounded by the ocean," said Hawaii Tourism Authority president George Szigeti. "So it is important that both our visitors and residents take precaution to understand ocean safety and take precaution when entering the water."