Shark Encounter Hayden Staley
Q:What’s the biggest shark you’ve ever caught?
A: I haven’t caught too many sharks! Most of the time I am just doing research on them or training them!
Q: What’s the biggest you’ve seen?
A: When I was working in the Bahamas this summer I saw three tiger sharks feasting on whale blubber. They were at least 15-feet long and swimming around our 25-foot center console.
Q:Where have you seen the most sharks?
A:In Eleuthera, Bahamas, I was doing an internship there, researching nurse sharks. The time of research was during their sexual aggregations, so we would see tons of males trying to swim into the shallows to find their mate.
Q:Have you ever been bitten?
A: I have only been nibbled before! When I would train zebra sharks, they just have tiny teeth so when we hand fed them during training sessions my glove would get caught in their mouth sometimes! No pain, no cool stories.
Q:What species would you call your favorite?
A: I have had some very close relationships with nurse sharks as well as zebra sharks, so they have a special place in my heart! However, I have to say there are so many sharks it’s hard to pick just one specie out of 400!
Q:What is your least favorite shark?
A: None! I love all sharks; they all have their own personalities and different ways of living, which makes them all unique!
Q:Please tell the story of your most memorable shark encounter?
A: I have been fortunate enough to have wonderful interactions with sharks. Whether it is out surfing with them at the shark bite capital of the world (New Smyrna), or wrestling with sharks in order to tag them for research. I’m thankful I can see the beauty in these amazing animals instead of fear them like the majority of people do.