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Real shark attack inspires Discovery show

Aug. 31, 2004 at 12:27 PM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The Discovery Channel rushed to produce a show about a boy who reportedly used a trick he learned on the U.S. cable network to survive a July shark attack.

"Shark Attack: A Boy's Fight To Survive," set to air Sunday on the Discovery Channel, is based on the true story of Aaron Perez, an 11-year-old who was attacked July 25 by a bull shark while fishing in shallow Gulf of Mexico waters off the Texas coast, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

When the shark attacked, Perez repeatedly punched the shark in its gills until he freed himself from the shark's jaws, a maneuver the boy said he learned the night before while watching the Discovery Channel.

Surgeons spent four hours saving Perez's injured arm.

"It's one of those tragedy-to-good news stories that we felt was worth rushing to air," said Stephen Reverand, Discovery's vice president of production and executive producer of the shark show.

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