Sharks Swimming in Australia's Flooded Streets
Flood victims in Australia have a new danger to contend with — sharks swimming down their streets, according to a report in The Queensland Times.
“It’s definitely a first for Goodna, to have a shark in the main street,” Paul Tully, Ipswich councilor for the Goodna region, said in the Queensland Times report.
Bull sharks are known for their unpredictable and often aggressive behavior, so their presence in populated areas is a concern. They are the third most likely shark to attack humans, according to NOAA Fisheries. Several fatal unprovoked attacks in the United States alone have occurred over the years.
The sharks are part of the aftermath of significant flooding that occurred in many areas of Queensland during late December 2010 and early January 2011. According to the Queensland Government web page, three quarters of the state was declared a disaster zone.
Previously we told you how the floods unleashed crocodiles, snakes, poisonous spiders and other potentially dangerous species into the region. It makes sense that bull sharks would also find their way into the Goodna city streets, since they were previously spotted in sections of the Bremer River. Fishermen there are said to regularly catch them from the Goodna boat ramp.
“Bull sharks have been in Goodna for a long time in the Bremer,” confirmed Tully. “They are regularly in the Brisbane River and often swim up. I know a number of fishermen who have caught bull sharks.”
To get to Goodna’s main street, he said the sharks must have swam well over a mile from the river. They then crossed Evan Marginson Park and the local highway there. This would have been unthinkable during drier days, but the flood waters have made this bizarre travel route possible.
This week, Goodna was contending with over 26 feet of water in normally populated areas. As if the water, sharks, crocodiles and other threats weren’t enough, a flammable gas leak caused further chaos there recently, leading to even more evacuations.
The gas leak was due to ruptured underground storage tanks at gas stations near the St. Ives shopping center. The sharks certainly weren’t deterred by the leak. They were seen swimming down Williams Street, which goes right by the shopping center.