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Shark bites diver at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 25: The teeth and jaw of a Great White Shark are displayed after research into the biological mechanics of the predator July 25, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) including Dan Huber from the the University of Tampa, Florida in the USA, plan to remove muscles from the head of several sharks in order to create a digital shark, to help determine it's bio mechanics and potential "bite force". (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a 4-foot-long sandbar shark bit the finger of a diver who was doing maintenance at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma.

The News Tribune reports the trained volunteer diver was taken to a Tacoma hospital. Officials say the man was alert after the Monday morning incident.

Officials say it’s the first time a shark has bitten someone since the exhibit opened in 1989.

The diver was in the water with a dive safety officer when the shark bit him. It’s unclear what prompted the shark to bite but officials say the shark will remain in the exhibit.

The zoo has canceled open water dives until the Diving Control Board reviews the incident.

There are three sandbar sharks at the zoo, as well as blacktip reef sharks, nurse sharks, a sand tiger shark and a Japanese wobbegong.

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