Nat Geo 'Sharkfest' 2022: Shark experts give tips on what people should do when encountering sharks

ByHosea Sanders and Masha Jordan via WLS logo
Friday, July 22, 2022
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"Sharkfest" is back. Shark experts Jasim Graham and Gibbs Kuguru sat down with ABC7 to discuss the creatures and how to respond if they encounter people.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Sharkfest" is back in the swim this summer with nearly 100 hours of shows, many of which don't make you afraid to go back in the water!

Scientists who have devoted their careers to those fascinating creatures are part of the event, and talk to ABC7's Hosea Sanders about the mystique.

Shark experts also give tips on what people should do when they do encounter these animals.

"If you see a shark, enjoy the moment. It's a magical experience to be able to see these animals but you do need to remember that they are wild animals," said scientists and shark expert Jasmin Graham-Scientist. "They are not swimming around looking for somebody to eat, they want to eat fish, crustaceans -- whatever they're trying to eat is not people."

"There are over 500 different species of sharks and throughout Sharkfest, they'll be digging into a lot different species you might not have heard of before," said fellow said scientists and shark expert Carlee Jackson.

But what is it about sharks? Should we consider them charming or scary?

"Every time I see one, I still get goosebumps, it's the excitement of this animal that can literally stun you just by showing you something you've never seen, never heard of before. Much like in my program "Camo Sharks where we found that these sharks were actually able camouflage and that, that just blew my mind," said fellow scientists and shark expert Gibbs Kuguru.

"Ok, I can't help but notice that we are all Black," Sanders said. "Jasmine, I know that's something you've been working on, trying to get more people of color, more minorities into this field of study."

"I think that's beautiful that we get to see all of this and that people can watch shows and see themselves represented in science and therefore science seems a lot more approachable, something that they could do," Graham said.

"We live right here on Lake Michigan, should we be concerned here in Chicago about Shark invasion," Sanders joked.

"Not yet," Jackson said.

"They're coming for you," Kuguru added.

"Sharkfest" continues on Nat Geo networks and Disney platforms until early August.