A Scottish tourist believed to have been attacked and eaten by a shark after authorities on the island of Reunion found his severed hand inside the creature, has been named locally as Edinburgh man, Richard Martyn Turner.
The 44-year-old tourist who was on holiday with his wife, Verity, was snorkelling alone when he vanished in a lagoon where four sharks were later caught.
Mr Turner’s hand was discovered, with the wedding ring still on his finger, inside the body of a tiger shark on the Indian Ocean isle on Wednesday.
It is understood the shark was killed because he was considered a threat to holidaymakers on the French overseas territory.
The island, which sits on the so-called 'Shark Highway' between South Africa and Australia, has had 10 fatal shark attacks since the year 2000.
Local sources said the couple were at the five star resort of Lux Réunion hotel in Saint-Gilles for Mrs Turner's 40th birthday.
Mr Turner worked for Registers of Scotland.
A police source on Reunion told The Scottish Sun: “The hand and forearm of a man was found inside the stomach of one of the captured tiger sharks.
"All four were around three to four metres long. The woman identified the ring as belonging to her husband but the DNA tests will officially confirm if it is the missing man.
“Further investigations will be carried out on the sharks and their stomach contents examined.”
A spokesman for the local search and rescue crew – the Centre Regional Operationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage (Cross) told the Daily Mail: “The victim was certainly swimming but it is not clear whether he was attacked or he was already dead when he was eaten.
“One possibility is that he became unwell while in the lagoon and was taken by the currents into deeper water.”