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    Play-time With Tiger Sharks

    February 27, 2013 2 min read

    Play-time With Tiger Sharks

    In the crystal waters of the Bahamas, diver Eli Martinez can make a Tiger Shark roll over with a simple touch.

    The 41-year-old has, who traveled to the Bahamas several times a year for the past decade, has built a relationship with the Tiger Sharks which now get so close that he can rub his face against theirs.

    Eli, pictured, has a developed a close relationship with the Tiger Sharks. Eli, pictured, has a developed a close relationship with the Tiger Sharks.

    But despite the amazing level of trust he employs to engage with the Tiger Sharks, renowned not only for their beauty but also commonly feared as the third most dangerous shark in the world, the diver says he never forgets what they are capable of and why they have a reputation as being one of the top predators in the world.

    He said: 'They are wild animals so you can never get 100% comfortable - they are deserving of the respect the other divers and I show them.

    Eli kisses the Tiger Shark on the head Eli kisses the Tiger Shark on the head

    'I've been going to the same spot for the last 10 years and after a few repeat interactions they know the drill but I must not forget what they're capable of.'

    "We're usually surrounded by two to four tiger sharks plus around 40 lemon sharks and close to 60 reef sharks - they're a bit smaller and more feisty but you have to respect them all the same."

    Eli and other divers are often surrounded by four Tiger Sharks at a time, and numerous Reef Sharks Eli and other divers are often surrounded by four Tiger Sharks at a time, and numerous Reef Sharks

    He added: 'I'm able to get them to roll 180 degrees in the palm of my hand.

    'They are really calm creatures unless they feel threatened so it's important none of us did anything to alarm them - they know we are not in the water to harm them.'

    Eli respects the Tiger Sharks at all times Eli respects the Tiger Sharks at all times