A MISSING Brit tourist is believed to have been eaten by a shark – after a hand wearing his wedding ring was found inside the beast’s belly today.
A 44-year-old Scot went missing while swimming off the French island of Reunion, near Madagascar, over the weekend.
A British tourist, 44, is believed to have been eaten by a shark off the island of ReunionCredit: Getty – Contributor
The tiger shark was killed as it had been swimming near tourist beaches and was believed to be a threat – and the severed hand inside appears to have confirmed the fears.
An investigating source said: “It is feared that the hand belonged to a tourist who was reported missing on Saturday afternoon by his wife.”
The suspected attack victim has not been named but is said to be a British national from Scotland.
The source continued: “The tourist and his wife were spending a week on the island and he had gone out swimming in the Hermitage Lagoon, off Saint-Gilles, alone on Saturday.
“When he did not get back, his wife sounded the alarm, and a full search was launched, involving boats and a helicopter.
“Divers searched around a coral reef in the area, and there were also patrols on land involving sniffer dogs. Sadly, the man could not be found.”
It is feared that the hand belonged to a tourist who was reported missing on Saturday afternoon by his wife
An investigating source
There are frequent shark attacks around Reunion, which is in the Indian Ocean, some 500 miles from Madagascar.
Tiger sharks have a record second only to Great White sharks for attacks on humans, but it may be that the man drowned and his corpse attracted the fish.
DNA tests are due to be carried out on the hand, but scientists from the CSR Shark Safety Centre on Reunion have been told that the wedding ring on the it “conformed to one identified by the man’s wife,” said the source.
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The dead shark was more than 10ft long and was one of five considered a threat to those in the sea.
Swimming and other water activities are heavily restricted on Reunion due to the high risk of shark attacks.
What are tiger sharks?
Tiger sharks have excellent senses of sight and smell and a nearly limitless menu of diet items.
They have sharp, highly serrated teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to crack the shells of sea turtles and clams.
The stomach contents of captured tiger sharks have included stingrays, sea snakes, seals, birds, squids, and even license plates and old tires.
Tiger sharks are common in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world.
Large specimens can grow to as much as 20 to 25 feet in length and weigh more than 1,900 pounds.
They are heavily harvested for their fins, skin, and flesh, and their livers contain high levels of vitamin A, which is processed into vitamin oil.
They have extremely low repopulation rates, and therefore may be highly susceptible to fishing pressure.
They are listed as near threatened throughout their range.
Source: National Geographic
It comes after two Brits were savaged by a shark in Australia as they snorkelled off Queensland’s popular Whitsunday coast last week.
Alistair Raddon, 28, had his right foot ripped off and Danny Maggs, 22, was also viciously attacked off Airlie Beach.
As he lay in an air ambulance, Danny Maggs grinned and waved at cameras after being plucked to safety following the terrifying attack.
The rescue helicopter rushed both snorkelers to Mackay Base Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
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In May, a 28-year-old surfer had his leg ripped off by a shark, and his dead body was later found floating in the port of Saint-Leu.
It marked the 24th shark attack and the 11th fatal one reported on Reunion since 2011.
This led to the local government urging caution in the sea, citing the risk of bull shark attacks amid shifting temperatures.
Tiger sharks have a record second only to Great White sharks for attacks on humansCredit: Alamy
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