A group of fishermen pulled an eight-foot-long bull shark from the Potomac River this week, in the area around St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
According to the Washington Post, the shark’s capture was recounted by 21-year-old Murphy Brown. A receptionist at a defense contracting firm, she says that her father and grandfather were responsible for landing the bull shark, which they found caught in a net on Wednesday evening. At the time, the tide was too high for them to do anything about the bull shark, so they returned the next night, only to find the animal still trapped, but dead.
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5newsdc) September 4, 2015
Her grandfather, Robert T. Brown, owns a commercial fishing business in the area, yet according to Murphy, both he and her father were still “shocked” to find the bull shark in their nets.
“My dad said in his whole life — and he’s been fishing since he could walk — he’s never seen anything that big before. It was mind-blowing to be there and see it. You hear about other people making a big catch or you see it and you think, ‘wow,’ but then it happens to you.”
— SoMdNews.com (@SoMdNews) September 4, 2015
While bull sharks are somewhat rare in the region, sightings near the Chesapeake Bay are not unheard of, according to experts from the fishery services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Bull shark specimens have also been found far up inland rivers in the past, including well along the Ohio river, as the Inquisitr has previously reported.
Bull sharks are considered one of the three species of shark (along with tigers and great whites) that are most likely to attack humans, but unlike the other two, they are able to tolerate low salinity water. Possessing specialized kidneys that can help them regulate their body’s salinity levels, bull sharks are able to move freely between salt and freshwater environments, as Shark Savers points out.
— Caroline Mimbs Nyce (@mimbsy) September 4, 2015
It is also not unprecedented to find a bull shark in the Potomac, particularly in the lower reaches. In 2013, two large bull sharks were caught in a section of the river not far from where the Browns found their eight-foot-long specimen this week.
[Image: Murphy Brown via the Washington Post]