Kiwi schoolgirl loses leg after being mauled by shark in Australia

A 12-year-old Kiwi girl mauled by a shark in the Whitsunday Islands in September has had her leg amputated.

Hannah Papps, whose family is from New Zealand but now live in Melbourne, was swimming in shallow waters in the Cid Harbour off Whitsunday Island when she was attacked.

She is currently recovering in Queensland Children's Hospital, where she underwent several surgeries, including having her leg amputated, reports

Hannah was bitten on the upper thigh and the shark severed her femoral artery, leading to massive blood loss. Paramedics in the helicopter gave her 1.5 litres of blood on the way to Mackay Hospital.

On Saturday the schoolgirl was visited by Australian Paralympian Ellie Cole, who posted a picture on Instagram of Hannah using a wheelchair for the first time.

"Twelve-year-old Hannah lost her leg to a shark attack only three weeks ago while holidaying in the Whitsundays," Cole wrote. "Today she jumped in a wheelchair for the first time and I couldn't even keep up with her. She's going to be great".

Cole is a six-time Paralympic champion, and lost her right leg to a rare cancer when she was three.

The shark attack happened only 24 hours after a Tasmanian tourist was also mauled in the same spot.

Following the two attacks, authorities in the Whitsundays killed two large tiger sharks in the area.