bull shark

A bull shark. Image taken by Albert kok.

The flood in Australia has caused wildlife to move about quite a bit. Several people have reported seeing bull sharks, passing by McDonald’s and the butcher shop on its way down what was formerly a busy street, but became a street covered in 26 feet of water.

This is not really surprising. Well maybe a little. But bull sharks live in really shallow, coastal parts of the ocean and frequently head up river into fresh water. They’re one of the few sharks that have no trouble living in fresh water for quite a while. They’ve been reported as far as 2,220 miles up the Amazon river and 1,800 miles up the Mississippi! Because they live in such shallow water and in rivers, streams and estuaries, they come into contact with people often. They are commonly thought of as being one of the top 3 most aggressive shark species. Given their size and proximity to humans, I suppose it makes sense. The other two are the great white shark and the tiger shark and they don’t come across people as much. And of course I feel obligated to point out that you are more likely to be killed by cows (yes cows) or by being struck by lightning than you are likely to be killed by a shark.