A 32-year-old man from South Australia who lost his leg to a shark attack wins the right to keep the tooth from the predator that got lodged in his surfboard.
Chris Blowes, the man, was almost killed during the attack, which took place in South Australia, 2015.
He was left in coma for 10 days and had his leg amputated.
Naturally, the man would not be allowed to keep hold of the tooth from his board as it is from a protected specie, however, he was granted approval by the state.
The man said he plans to keep the tooth as a souvenir of the fateful day that “changed” his life forever.
Blowes was out surfing at the Fishery Bay in April of 2015 when a large 5.5meter great white shark attacked him.
Talking about the incident, he said:
It shook me about and played with me for a bit. And it ended up pulling my leg off.
He eventually made it to the shore after getting help from 2 of his friends.
He received treatment from paramedics at the scene and was rushed off to a hospital in Adelaide.
Talking about the moment, he said that he lost a lot of blood and his heart completely stopped for some time.
The emergency paramedics had to perform CPR until he showed signs of life.
After the attack, the police took his surfboard and upon inspecting it, they found one of the shark’s teeth embedded into it.
However, under the laws of South Australia, it had to be handed over to the correct authorities.
It is illegal to possess, sell, or purchase any part of a white shark because they have a protected status.
Anyone that is found to have broken the law can face 2 years in prison or pay a fine of AU $100,000.
Despite the rules and regulations, the victim was constantly asking the authorities to hand him the tooth.
The authorities refused, but thanks to a kind local politician, he was given a grant to keep the tooth.
Talking about the tooth and the shark, he said:
I would never kill a shark for its tooth but it took my leg [so] I can’t see any reason why I can’t have that. The shark isn’t getting its tooth back [and] I’m not getting my leg back.
This is the first time in the history of Australia that an exemption has been granted.
David Basham, the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development in South Australia, said that it was the least they could do, given the circumstances.
Minister David said that Chris had been through a traumatic experience and they wanted to make sure that they could do something to help him out.
Right now, Blowes is surfing again, but this time, it’s with the help of a prosthetic leg.
He keeps the shark tooth in a case inside his house and only takes it out to show off at motivational talks that he gives about the attack.