When we're scrolling through Instagram travel pages, it's not often we stop to consider the importance of respecting the surroundings the wanderlusters on our phone screens are experiencing. 

From posing with animals who might not want to adhere to the image aesthetics, to accidentally disrespecting traditions or customs, there are things to think about when adventuring in the most covetable to travel destinations. 

The world is more accessible than even thanks to Instagrammers like Katarina Elle Zarutskie. who shared a series of snaps from her trip to The Exumas, off The Bahamas. A few weeks after her trip, the model shared some scary snaps of herself posing among a group of Nurse Sharks.

Images: Katarina Elle Zarutskie / Instagram

The sharks are generally docile, but Katarina was bitten and dragged under as she floated among them – which was captured in the photographs. 

'I leaned back, and then that shark he came and he bit down on my arm and pulled me under,' the 19-year-old told BuzzFeed.

'They are wild animals and it's an uncontrollable situation.'

Thankfully, Katarina was not seriously injured, and did not lose her hand or fingers in the attack.  

'These animals are considered quite docile but can and do bite on occasion,' David Hocher, who owns Staniel Cay marina close to where the incident occurred, told NBC News

'Normally when they mistake a hand or fingers for a piece of food.'

Katarina has not let her experience stop her from enjoying and respecting the ocean. 

Taking to her social media, she welcomed the fact that her story had gone viral, hailing it as an opportunity to remains travellers to respect Mother Nature while exploring foreign countries. 

'he ocean has always had a special place in my heart ever since I was a little girl on her surfboard,' she wrote. 

'Please respect the ocean and its ecosystem.' 

Feature image: Katarina Elle Zarutskie / Instagram