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U.S. shark attacks hit highest levels since 2000

In this undated phoprovided by University CaliforniDavis white shark investigates fake seal decoy used by UC Davis researchers Pacific Ocean

In this undated photo provided by the University of California, Davis, a white shark investigates a fake seal decoy used by UC Davis researchers in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco. They are the most feared predator in the ocean, but the state of Cali

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Scholars say shark attacks in the U.S. reached their highest level in a decade last year.

The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File released on Monday says the U.S. experienced 53 attacks in 2012, the most since 2000.

Florida led the U.S. with 26 attacks. Hawaii had 10 attacks, followed by California and South Carolina with five each, North Carolina with two and one each in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico. One attack in California was fatal.

The report says there were seven fatalities worldwide, which is lower than 2011 but higher than the yearly average of 4.4 from 2001 to 2010. There were 80 unprovoked attacks worldwide, slightly more than 2011.



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