Officials: Sharp-toothed creature that bit surfer was an eel

HONOLULU (AP) — An eel, not a shark, bit a surfer off the shore of Hawaii's Waikiki Beach over the weekend.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday it made the determination based on an interview with the victim and photos of his injuries.

They didn't specify what species of eel bit the man or what might have provoked it.

Hawaii's coral reefs are home to a variety of eels, including some with large mouths, long teeth and strong jaws that help in capturing prey. The Maui Ocean Center's website says the snakelike fish normally aren't aggressive but have been known to defend their lairs.

Officials don't keep track of eel bites in Hawaii waters but say there's no record of any shark attacks off Waikiki.

The surfer suffered foot injuries Saturday, hours after a shark attacked a man off Oahu's Lanikai Beach.