In what may be the weirdest case of Stockholm Syndrome on record, a group of shark attack survivors is in Washington this week, hoping to lobby Congress to protect the very animals that maimed them. Members say their traumatic encounters with sharks have forged a strong and forgiving bond with the fierce predators of the sea.

Debbie Salamone, whose Achilles tendon was snapped after a shark bit her heel in Florida, organized the group of fellow victims to help pass a Senate bill that would restrict fishing for sharks, many species of which are now classified as threatened.

"We're seriously scarred," she said. "Some of us are missing limbs, and we have every right to hate sharks. I think the message is: If we can see the value in saving sharks, everyone should."

The International Shark Attack File says that shark bites in the United States are extremely rare. There have been an average of 43 per year since 2000, and the odds of an attack are 1 in every 11.5 million beach visits. At the same time, the practice of "finning" -- in which fishermen cut off a shark's fin and toss the rest overboard -- is on the rise to meet the demand for shark-fin soup in Asia. The shark attack survivors are hoping to ban the practice in the U.S.

We imagine that when it comes to animal attacks, there is a direct relationship between willingness to forgive an the offending creature and how freakin' awesome you sound telling the story afterward.

More from the Web:

Attack of the Massive Flying Shark (I-Am-Bored.com)

6 Endangered Species That Aren't Endangered Enough (Cracked)