2 Tourist-Eating Shark Suspects Captured

A view of a mostly empty beach in Sharm el-Sheik where three Russians and a Ukrainian were mauled this week. Hussien Talal

Two sharks suspected of mauling three Russians and a Ukrainian at an Egyptian Red Sea resort have been caught, the Egyptian Environment Ministry said Thursday.

Sharks attacked tourists Tuesday and then again the day after, maiming three Russians and a Ukrainian tourist, according to the Russian Embassy. Earlier reports said all four were Russians.

In one of the attacks, an elderly woman lost her hand and another woman lost a leg. One of the victims remained hospitalized in critical condition, RIA-Novosti reported. Earlier reports said all four victims were hospitalized in Cairo in critical condition.

Authorities ordered people to stay out of the waters around Sharm el-Sheikh, a top vacation and diving destination, until the perpetrators were apprehended.

The ministry said it caught a 2.25-meter shark weighing 150 kilograms and a second that was 2.5 meters long, weighing 250 kilograms near the resort.

The sharks were taken to Ras Mohammed Conservation Center to be dissected to see whether there were any human remains inside.

Mohammed Salem, director of Sinai Conservation, said one of the sharks caught was a Mako shark and the other an Oceanic White Tip, which was the type of shark observed in both attacks.

"Usually these kinds of sharks don't attack human beings, but sometimes they have trouble with their nervous system and they accidentally go after people," he told The Associated Press.

He added that Egypt sees one to two fatal shark attacks a year.

One of the 12 hunters sent out to find the sharks said one of the animals had a notch in the fin, which one of the victims described.

(AP, MT)

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