Sand tiger suspected in Wrightsville Beach, NC shark attack

UPDATE (07/22/10): Paul Barrington has been quoted by another news source as saying that the sand tiger shark was erroneously identified as the shark involved in the Wrightsville Beach incident.

According to, Paul Barrington, of the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, believes the shark suspected of biting a 13-year-old girl at Wrightsville Beach, NC might be sand tiger shark (aka grey nurse shark or ragged tooth shark). Kendall Parker sustained a single bite to the arm, while she was in waist-deep water on Saturday. Her injuries required 40-stitches, but she is expected to make a full-recovery.

The sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) is generally considered to be “docile” and non-threatening to humans. A sand tiger shark’s diet consists primarily of fish. Barrington mentions in the interview above that with a the number of bait fish in the water a “hit-and-run attack” could be a case of mistaken identity.


  1. tracey king says:

    I saw a 4-5 ft sand tiger or nurse shark on wrightsville 2 days before in a wave in less than waist deep water while surfing. The waves were big on this day. Neat to see, esp since it was cruising away from me. Glad the girl is doing good.

  2. TheDorsalFin says:


    I’m glad to hear you’re getting some waves down there. I was just north of Wrightsville at Emerald Isle the first week of July, and we couldn’t catch a wave to save our lives.

    I’m hoping to see some sand tigers off of Morehead City next weekend, when I head to Elasmodiver’s Sharkfest.

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