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  • I recognize all of my sharks.

  • They look to me different as a classroom full of students.

  • There's nothing that makes me more relaxed and happier than have one of the girls come in and rest in my lap.

  • I think it's an extreme privilege that a wild animal is feeling comfortable enough to relax at that level.

  • My name is Cristina Donato.

  • I work as a diving professional, and I specialized in working with sharks in the wild, specifically Caribbean reef sharks.

  • I have received many nick names through the years.

  • It is usually 'Shark Dancer' just because of the gentle and soft interaction that I have with them.

  • And, 'Mother of Sharks', because I have this protective attitude towards them.

  • So I came to the Mohammed about 26 years ago, to learn how to scuba dive and now take people down one-on- one with me.

  • And we talk about shark behavior and especially interacting with Caribbean reef sharks.

  • I've been in the same location, working with a group of sharks for 26 years, and so I've been able to watch them through the years.

  • With time, I actually can recognize them as they swim towards me from a distance.

  • They have very different personalities; their body language, the way they approach me, the way they interact with me, each one of them has their unique way of doing.

  • The Bahamas (is) our special place for sharks.

  • I created a petition in 2009, asking the government to start protecting the sharks.

  • And ultimately, in 2011, the Bahamas were declared a shark sanctuary.

  • No sharks can be killed within our waters; no import, export; no use of any of the shark products.

  • Something I'm very proud to have contributed by being one of those people that has attracted the world to come here and see our sharks and dive with them.

  • Not every shark, not even sharks that I work with for the last 10 years likes to be pet.

  • And then some other sharks sometimes put themselves to sleep by just coming up to me, nuzzling up into my either my stomach or my back or my leg and just sit in there

  • When they do that, out of me surges love.

  • I absolutely love my sharks.

  • The acceptance and the trust that they give me is a privilege.

  • It's so beautiful.

  • They are nature's masterpiece(s), one of the most beautiful masterpieces that have (been) created.

I recognize all of my sharks.

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B2 shark bahamas reef caribbean privilege dive

How One Diver Became the “Mother of Sharks”

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/09/21
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