A 40-year old local surfer lost a hand and a foot in a shark attack off St Leu, Reunion, over the weekend. This attack, the third this year, follows less than two weeks after the death of a 22-year old surfer at Trois Bassins – the ninth fatal attack off the Indian Ocean island since 1972.
The attack follows just days after a call by the mayor of St Leu, Thierry Robert, for the culling of bull sharks off Reunion. The mayor quickly revoked his order, however, after discovering that the killing of sharks in marine protected areas was against French legislation – St Leu was declared a marine protected area five years ago.
“The attack was foreseeable,” Mayor Robert told radio station Antenne Reunion. “I have been asking for action for several weeks. Once again this has happened in the marine reserve. People need to take responsibility.” The mayor also went on to add that the St Leu town hall would take “immediate action”, but did not specify what this action will be.
World Tour campaigner Jeremy Flores posted this tweet, which sums up the feelings of many Reunion locals.