Killer Shark Mummy? Egyptian scientists preserve shark that allegedly killed Russian tourist in Hurghada

Killer Shark Mummy? Egyptian scientists preserve shark that allegedly killed Russian tourist in Hurghada
Egyptian scientists are taxidermising the tiger shark blamed for a fatal attack on a Russian at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
2 min read
14 June, 2023
Tiger sharks are just one of the many species of predatory sharks that swim in the Red Sea's clear waters [Getty]

The tiger shark allegedly responsible for the mauling to death of a Russian man in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada will be preserved and displayed in a museum.

Media reports claimed that the killer shark was being "mummified".

Specialists from Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) decided that the specimen was worthy of display after they conducted an autopsy on the fish.

The tiger shark was female, pregnant and almost 11 feet long, the autopsy revealed. Contrary to initial reports, it is unknown whether the shark contained human remains.

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The shark was caught as part of a retaliatory hunt, one that has been criticised by experts. There is no way of establishing whether the shark being taxidermised is the same animal that fatally attacked the Russian tourist – or indeed if the killer shark has even been caught.

The fishermen claim to have caught the shark at the scene of the attack near the Elysees Dream Beach Hotel and dragged it to shore. However, this cannot be verified. One video even showed an Egyptian fisherman punching a dead shark on the deck of a boat.

Footage then emerged of a team of specialists from NIOF preparing the tiger shark for taxidermy, not for mummification initial reports suggested.

The attack has caused concern about the safety of tourists along Egypt’s Red Sea coast, resulting in the temporary closure of a 60km stretch of beaches from El Gouma to Soma Bay.

The highly publicised capture of the shark claimed to be behind the tourist's death has led to the reopening of the beaches and has served to alleviate fears among tourists and locals.

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Shark attacks in Egypt are on the rise, with experts believing it could be the result of overfishing and the irresponsible expansion of tourists resorts along the Red Sea coast, where shark diving is a hugely profitable endeavour. 

In July last year, two women were killed in shark attacks south of Hurghada. In 2020, a shark attacked a 12-year-old Ukrainian boy, who lost an arm and an Egyptian tour guide in Sharm El Sheikh, who lost his leg.

Previously, in 2010, a spate of shark attacks killed one tourist and maimed several others at the same location. 

The New Arab reached out to the Egypt's National Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries but received no reply at the time of publication.