MIAMI, Florida | A man who raised a shark in his apartment bathtub for the last 2 years lost an arm and almost died after he was attacked by his unusual pet.
49-year Cesario Sancho Gonzales, a Cuban-American janitor in a Miami sports club, found a baby white shark while walking on a beach in 2015.
The poor animal was stuck in a fishing net and badly injured, so he decided to take the fish home and to take care of it until it healed.
Mr. Gonzales named it Snuggly and fed it fresh fish, chicken and hamburger meat three times per day.
For two years, he kept the fish in his apartment bathtub, which he kept filled with ocean water that he replaced daily.
Everything went fine for more than 2 years, the shark grew almost 5-foot long and remained pretty still and inactive most of the day in his small living space, showing no signs of aggressivity.
Everything changed when Mr. Gonzales went to the bathroom Yesterday morning: his pet shark attacked him without any warning and ended up biting his left arm off.
“I was sitting on the toilet, and for some reason Snuggly began to get agitated. I extended my arm to pat him on the head and he just leaped at me!”
The 49-year old man spent several minutes fighting with the shark and fearing for his life until he was finally able to get away but without most of his arm.
“I always thought there were no bad pets, only bad masters, but I’m not sure anymore. I did everything to make Snuggly happy, and he tried to kill me anyway.”
The 180-lb shark was transported to the Miami Seaquarium, where it will be held until the state authorities decide its faith.
Several Americans are attacked by wild animals that they decided to domesticate, but this is only the second case involving a shark ever recorded in Florida.
According to national statistics, 37% of such attacks involve reptiles like alligators and venomous snakes.
In 2017, 187 incidents involving pet reptiles were recorded in Florida alone, leading to 3 deaths.
Other common animals include wolves and coyotes, large felines, bears and poisonous spiders.