News from the Natural World: Judge rules for mistaken identity in the case of Surfer vs Shark.
A shocking new legal trial has sent tremors through the animal world. The case is a gruelling tale of teeth, fins and accidental slaughter. The trial involves a Great White Shark called Gertrude and a human surfer called Jezza. Jezza was surfing off a quiet beach break on the western coast of Australia one morning. All of a sudden his life was turned upside down when he was smashed off his surfboard and dragged beneath the waves. The culprit? Gertrude the Great White Shark was doing her usual breakfast rounds and was feeling a bit peckish. In the attack, she bit off Jezza’s leg. After the bite, she swam off and Jezza managed to make it to shore. After reaching hospital and going through with an operation Jezza decided to file a case against Gertrude.
But after a long and length legal battle the judge declared that the attack was clearly a case of mistaken identity. A case of mistaken identity is a situation in which someone or something is mistakenly thought to be someone or something else. It is a defence in criminal law which claims the actual innocence of the criminal defendant based on an accidentally mistaken identity. In this case the defence clearly demonstrated that Gertrude had truly and genuinely believed that Jezza was a Seal. Gertrude said as soon as she bit into the meal she knew it wasn’t a Seal. It tasted horrible for a start. In addition, she left the human as soon as she took the bite, it was bloody disgusting.
Judge Rules for Mistaken Identity
The defence managed to establish further precedence by establishing that in almost all shark attacks it was a case of mistaken identity. This is because Great White Sharks are clearly capable of killing and consuming humans. But if White Sharks regard humans as ‘fair game’, why are so few people attacked by them each year? There is a widely repeated speculation that humans are attacked by White Sharks because – cruising along the bottom, some 60 feet (20 metres) or so below the surface – these predators occasionally mistake the silhouette of floating divers or surfboards for that of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). Thus, according to this idea, humans are sometimes bitten by accident because we happen to resemble normal White Shark food in approximate size and shape.
The Judge was immediately convinced and ruled for mistaken identity in the case of Surfer vs Shark.
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