New technology reveals tiger shark killed Lahaina man at Honolua Bay

Local News

HONOLUU (KHON2) — A pair of University of Hawaii (UH) researchers used new DNA technology to determine that it was a tiger shark that killed the 56-year-old Lahaina man who was surfing on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Maui’s Honolua Bay.

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Researchers from UH’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) developed a swab kit that was used to gather DNA samples from the bite marks on the victim’s surfboard.

The sample was then compared to a database of sharks to determine which species was involved in the attack.

“When a shark bites onto a surfboard or something like that, they have a mucus layer inside their mouth that’s actually pretty sticky.”

Dr. Derek Kraft, university of Hawaii Sea Grant Fellow

Officials believe the tiger shark was approximately 14.3-feet long based on measurements taken from the bite mark on the surfboard.

The shark bite victim has been identified as Robin Warren.

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