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Man killed, woman injured by shark or crocodile at Pacific coast resort in Mexico, officials say

Boston woman dies after Bahamas shark attack
Boston woman dies after shark attack while paddle boarding in Bahamas 02:33

A Belgian tourist was killed in an attack Thursday by either a shark or a crocodile at Mexico's Pacific coast resort of Zihuatanejo, officials said.

The civil defense office in the southern state of Guerrero said a man and a woman were bitten in the legs by an unidentified animal.

The man was reported dead at the scene, while the woman was taken to a hospital. State officials said the man was from Belgium and the woman's nationality was not immediately clear.

The civil defense office in the southern state of Guerrero said a man and a woman were bitten in the legs by an unidentified animal. Guerrero State Civil Defense Office

The office said it was studying the wounds to determine whether they were bitten by a shark or a crocodile, both of which inhabit the area.

The beach was closed to the public after the attack, officials said.

"The Government of Guerrero regrets this incident and expresses its most sincere condolences to the family of the victim who lost his life," the office said in its statement.

Earlier, officials said they ramped up safety protocols and erected purple flags to warn swimmers of dangerous marine animals in the area.

Recent shark attacks

If confirmed as a shark attack, it would be the second such fatality this month on Mexico's southern Pacific coast, and at least the third across the globe.

In early December, a Mexican woman died after she was severely bitten in the leg by a shark just off the beach town of Melaque, west of the seaport of Manzanillo. The 26-year-old woman was trying to boost her child aboard the floating platform when the shark bit her, officials said at the time. 

woman from Boston died after she was attacked by a shark while paddle boarding with a family member in the Bahamas.

Wildlife experts say that most shark attacks affecting humans are actually a case of mistaken identity when the animals are searching for other prey.

"The truth is, when you're in the water, if you're in a healthy marine ecosystem... you're often never more than 100 yards from a shark," Jeff Corwin, an American biologist and wildlife conservationist, told CBS News earlier this year. "We're often interacting with these species and we don't even know about it."

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