Zarutskie, who attends the University of Miami, had been on vacation with her boyfriend and his family and had heard from locals that swimming with nurse sharks was a fun and safe activity.
Hocher also wrote that from the photos of the incident, it appeared that Zarutskie was in the water during feeding time and that having her arms outstretched and fingers exposed would have been tempting for the sharks.
Zarutskie hopes her modeling career will continue and she has not ruled out posing with sharks again.
Nurse sharks are commonly thought to be harmless to humans, but they will bite defensively if they are bothered by divers. She quickly realized it was best to pull her arm out of the water so blood wouldn't attract more of the creatures, and she was able to get to safety before any more damage was done.
The five-foot long shark then dragged her underwater by her arm. Zarutskie, who grew up near the ocean in California, spotted a pack of nurse sharks in the water and, knowing they're generally docile, made a decision to get in the water with them to take a photo. The college student had seen others swimming with the nurse sharks in the ocean on social media and knew she wanted to experience it.
"They are wild animals, and it's an uncontrollable situation", she said. "I've seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram".
But there were warning signs around the picturesque spot where the shark attack took place. The group passed an area in the ocean where several nurse sharks were swarming, and since it was promoted that swimming with these creatures was a safe and normal activity in the area, Katarina chose to hop in and get some photos (Note: a warning sign by the pool of sharks clearly stated that the animals "can and do bite" on occasion). Despite her scars, the model said she has an even greater respect for nature.