An Instagram model has hit back at criticism from online trolls after being bitten by a shark while posing for photographs.
Katarina Zarutskie, from California, was holidaying with her boyfriend and his family in the Bahamas last month when she spotted people snorkelling with some nurse sharks.
Ms Zarutskie decided to make the most of the opportunity and went into the water to get some photographs with the animals.
But while posing for the pictures a shark bit into the model’s wrist and held her underwater for several seconds.
It led to her needing stitches and antibiotics for her injuries, and she may need further surgery to remove fragments of the shark’s teeth which remain in the wound.
Since the incident emerged the model has received a barrage of criticism from online trolls.
The 19-year-old has hit back at the criticism, including false claims that she ignored advice or went into the water during the sharks’ feeding time.
“They took the information they wanted and really spun the story in a way that I’m a stupid blonde Instagram model,” she told the BBC.
“I’ve definitely received a lot of rude and hateful comments from people that were saying ridiculous things.”
She added: “From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe.
“I’ve seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram.”
Fortunately the model was able to pull her wrist free and raised the wound out of the water to stop the blood spreading through the water.
Ms Zaruskie has been left with a nasty scar but she said her ability to stay calm prevented the attack from being far worse.
“I think if someone was screaming and flailing around it definitely could have changed the situation,” she said.
Ms Zarutskie, who is due to start a joint degree in nursing and business in Miami, added that the encounter hasn’t scared her away.