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Chris Hemsworth wary of shark attacks

Keen surfer Chris Hemsworth is more wary of sharks since a pal was attacked, as the incident "scared the hell" out of him.

The Thor star, who grew up in Australia, is a long-time surf enthusiast and tries to keep up his hobby whenever he has a break from filming.

However, Chris admits he is now more safety-conscious after seeing footage of professional surfer Mick Fanning fighting off a shark during a competitive event at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

"It scared the hell out of me," Chris tells News.com.au. "And those post (attack) interviews were heartbreaking seeing himself (Mick) and (fellow surfer) Julian Wilson processing it and I know both those guys and it was intense to watch... There's a lot of shark activity where I am and certainly... (I) think about it a lot more than I ever did in the past."

Chris explains that although he has been aware of risks since learning to surf Down Under, he wants more to be done to educate both surfers and swimmers.

"You're in their (the sharks') backyard and that's the risk you take," he adds. "But there is something going on and I think more research and education needs to be put into it to understand why...

"Where I grew up down in Philip Island in Victoria, there's a big seal colony there, so there's a lot of sharks but they're well fed, so I don't know if there's not enough to eat and so the sharks are coming in, or if there's an abundance of food which means it draws them in, who knows. But certainly when it's a little cloudy or overcast or super early mornings or late as the sun is setting, I pick and choose my hours to surf a bit differently."

However, Chris is adamant culling sharks is not the solution to the problem.

"I wish I had the answer," he explains. "I wish I heard someone who could give an answer that was going to solve the issue without wanting to kill sharks, the whole ocean's ecosystem would collapse if they weren't the number one predator... We have to think obviously long term, but short term something needs to be done and I've heard all sorts of opposing arguments, for and against about shark nets and I'm not the guy to ask, I'm not the educated one on the topic, but I'm all for welcoming whatever knowledge someone has on it."

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