A video of a massive 16ft shark lunging out of the water and biting at a marine conservationist’s foot fins is going viral on social media.
Marine conservationist Instagrammer who goes by the name, Ocean Ramsey, was filmed sticking her face down in the ocean and pulling it back out right before a 16ft tiger shark named Queen Nikki lunged out of the water to “play” with her.
Ramsey has been swimming with sharks all her life and says she has literally grown up with some of them, one of them, Queen Nikki.
“I love that tiger shark,” Ramsey told TODAY. “I grew up with that tiger shark, I think we were teenagers at the same time. And so I’ve known her for over 20 years.”
The video showed her laughing as she greeted the shark saying “Hi Nikki! Aww…”
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The encounter happened in Hawaii last week and Ramsey explained that she went into the water too fast and Nikki “totally reacted to that.”
“I saw her and she was close enough, with enough speed, that it looked like she was actually going at maybe [bite] my fin tips,” Ramsey said. “There [were] a bunch of little schooling fish under, so I could see her speed and I knew that I needed to back off in that moment.”
Ramsey waited for a few more seconds to dive into the water, as she does almost every day as a part of her job doing work in shark research and conservation. At her job she regularly takes people into the water with sharks to help educate them on the behaviors of the creatures.
“It’s just, like, ‘That’s Nikki,’ you know, Queen Nikki, and she’s such a fun and interactive shark,” Ramsey told TODAY. “We were actually really excited for that moment. And I was just so excited to see her.”
The shark scientist says her mission in life is to work with sharks and teach people that the wild animals deserve respect.
“They are wild animals,” she said. “They are apex predators, but they’re not monsters. And that’s what I want to make sure it doesn’t come across.”