A 10 year-old Colorado native named Dillon Armijo was recently hospitalized while on a Mexican vacation with his family. What was the cause of his hospitalization? Believe it or not, he was attacked by a shark, an extremely rare occurrence that no child should have to endure.
What Were the Circumstances Surrounding the Shark Attack?
In a testimony he reported to Denver7, Armijo claimed, “We went to the beach [in Cancun] and wanted to swim or jump in waves and then like, five minutes after that, like a shark just came into, like, a wave and just bit my leg.”
Thankfully, the boy’s brother and a nearby lifeguard jumped into action the moment they heard him scream. They pulled him onto shore, where he was rushed to the hospital.
What Injuries Did Dillon Armijo Sustain?
While still in Cancun, Dillon underwent three surgeries. He was then airlifted back to Colorado, where the true extent of his injuries was made apparent.
Dillon’s father Zach said, “All of the tendons on both sides of the knee are gone. A lot of nerve damage, he’s no longer able to lift his foot. So he’ll have a drop foot, but he will be able to run and jump and play soccer like normal in time.”
Despite the trauma he endured, Dillon is displaying an uncanny sense of bravery, even stating that he will eventually go back into the ocean.
How Common Are Shark Attacks?
Some may interpret Dillon Armijo’s story as a warning of the ocean’s dangers. However, in reality, what happened to him is a total anomaly.
According to the University of Florida’s data on shark attacks, in 2022, there were 57 recorded unprovoked shark bites worldwide,
“Encounters with sharks are extremely rare. An individual is far more likely to be struck by lightning than to be bitten by a shark,” said Dr. Robert Latour, professor of marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
What Causes Sharks to Attack Humans?
Based on the data noted above, it’s safe to say that sharks, in general, don’t actively hunt humans. But then what causes them to occasionally attack us?
Well, scientists aren’t completely sure, though theories have been proposed. One likely theory is that shark attacks on humans are mainly committed by juvenile sharks hoping to hone their predatory skills.
Regardless of the reasons that sharks occasionally muster up the audacity to attack human beings, one must always be cautious when ocean swimming. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission published a helpful guide on how we can reduce the odds of being attacked by sharks.