Australia Swan River shark attack a rare event, but experts say bull sharks exist in most of our rivers
14 details you probably missed in 'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl'
"The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl" hit theatres in 2005, but even superfans may have missed these clever details. There are a few inconsistencies surrounding Max's dream notebook.The movie helped launch the careers of stars like Taylor Lautner and Sasha Pieterse, and 15 years later, it inspired the Netflix sequel "We Can Be Heroes" (2020).
It's been 50 years since the last shark attack in Perth's river system, but yesterday a man in his 50s was bitten by a bull shark, suffering critical injuries.
But bull sharks are actually incredibly common in waterways across the country.
Are bull sharks in most rivers?
While we've all come to accept that sharks are common at beaches and in coastal waters around the country, bull sharks can be found in most rivers around Australia, according to marine ecologist Johan Gustafson from Griffith University.
Woman dies from suspected shark attack in New Zealand
Woman dies from suspected shark attack in New ZealandSYDNEY (Reuters) - A woman in New Zealand died on Thursday following a suspected shark attack in the country's northern island, police said in a statement.
"Except the southern end where it's a bit too cold," Dr Gustafson says.
"It'll be the same from Perth all the way over to Sydney".
Dr Gustafson says bull sharks live in near-coastal and estuarine waters, while larger sharks are the ones hang out along the coast.
"You won't actually find a massive, huge white shark up in a river. There's not enough food for it, it's too shallow for them," he says.
How many bull sharks are out there?
Dr Gustafson says it depends on the time of year. For the majority of the year, there is likely to be a very small population in river systems across the country.
But from December to January, it's pupping season for the females, so there will be larger female sharks entering rivers that will skew the population.
By the time it reaches the end of February, most of the large animals have migrated out of the rivers and spend their time on the coastline, so the population actually changes.
Weather possibly driving shark encounters
Climatic conditions could be sparking a rise in shark sightings and attacks across Australia, with seven fatalities reported in 2020.There were 22 reported unprovoked 'confrontations' between people and sharks in 2020, leaving seven people dead and another 10 injured.
"The number of sharks [per river] is not in the thousands, it's probably not even in the hundreds. It's going to be a lot less than that," Dr Gustafson says.
What do they eat?
The bull shark's strategy of breeding means sharks can be found in the upper areas of rivers for the start of their lives.
The mothers lay their pups upstream, before eventually migrating towards the coast as they grow bigger.
"Basically they'll be small, they're born at about 0.3 to 0.5 metres," Dr Gustafson said.
"They can't actually eat hard substances [as juveniles] so they'll be eating things like squid and soft shell animals, fish.
"Then as they migrate they'll get into crabs. And as the adults come through they'll be looking for mullet and tailor.
"So as they migrate out, they change their diet."
Are river shark attacks common?
Nope. In fact, they are very uncommon.
"On the Gold Coast, where we've got a lot of canals and rivers all connected [and] we've got a huge population on the water, we haven't had any incidents for quite a long time," Dr Gustafson said.
Greg Hunt slams doctors who were wrong about Covid-19
The government furiously hit back after a doctor and two university professors said rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccine will not wipe out coronavirus in Australia because it is not effective enough. Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said the only experts that should be listened to are the ones advising the government, whom he called the 'real' experts.
"And with the Swan [River] as well, there hasn't been a recorded [fatal incident] in nearly 100 years."
Are bull sharks aggressive?
According to Dr Gustafson, bull sharks are thought to be slightly more aggressive than other sharks.
"The bull shark is actually said to be the most dangerous of all sharks, including white sharks, but mostly because of its proximity to people," he said.
"And that's due to where it lives and where we've chosen to live … so the chances of encountering a bull shark are very high."
But Dr Gustafson said after years of studying the animal, he had never felt unsafe around them.
"I've handled 4-metre sharks down to half a metre, and they're not overly aggressive," he said.
"If the water is quite murky and you startle an animal, they'll end up doing a test bite to find out what you are.
"So they don't actually attack us, they are more curious — just the bite is quite strong."
Should I avoid my local river?
Dr Gustafson says the most important thing to rememberis that while bull sharks are in rivers, people have been living normal lives among them for decades.
Man rushed to hospital after Perth shark attack
A man has been rushed to hospital with leg injuries after a suspected bull shark attack in Perth's Swan River this morning.The incident happened at Blackwall Reach in the Swan River in Bicton about 8am today.
"It's just a random, one-off incident," he said.
"If we have a long trend that's pretty rapid, then we'd have to think about different measures, but at this stage it's just a one-off, unfortunate incident."
If you encounter a bull shark and you get bitten, the advice is obvious — you should attend to the wound immediately.
Dr Gustafson says devices that emit electromagnetic pulses can also help deter sharks.
And if you're thinking about going into the river for a dip after heavy rain? You might want to think again.
"If there's been a big downpour, when the water's freshened up a little bit and it's murky, bull sharks tend to move up into rivers during those times," Dr Gustafson says.
"So after big storm events, don't go into the water until the water's cleared."
Finally, Dr Gustafson says we don't need to be afraid of bull sharks or demonise them.
"The more that we learn about their movements and environmental variables that cause them to come around, we can actually coexist with them quite easily like we have been doing for quite a long time," he said.
Gallery: Things that go bump in the night: Nocturnal Aussie animals (StarsInsider)
NFL: Colts: Philip Rivers announces end of career .
The Indianapolis Colts will have to look around for a new quarterback: Philip Rivers, who came to Indianapolis in the past free agency after 16 years with the Chargers, is ending his NFL after 17 years Career. © Provided by SPOX Philip Rivers retires from the NFL. "It's about time," Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune openly. "It is the right moment." More at SPOX Video: Rivers gets emotional when asked about possible resignation Findings: Texans rush into the debacle - Titans fail their ow