‘Unusually wet summer’ may be to blame for huge rise in deadly sharks breeding

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While the wet weather has been a nightmare in the UK, for one country's population of aggressive bull sharks, it's been absolutely perfect.

The summer period in Australia seen a rise in the sharks' numbers, as flooded rivers and estuaries has given them more breeding ground than traditional years,

The La Nina weather pattern, which began in November, saw rainfall last month hit 22 per cent more than the normal average for the country as a whole.

Mainly affecting the south-east, north-eastern areas of Tasmania, central Australia and the Kimberley, the rain has caused a “productive time” for the animals.

Bond University associate professor Daryl McPhee told the local news outlets: “There's mullet (fish) moving in and out of the river mouths with the rain and other species.

“It's also the time of the year for the bull sharks to be breeding.

“Particularly in summer, we certainly do start to see more sharks, particularly bull sharks in coastal waters

“It's a very productive time [after rain] and we see lots of sharks because there's good feed on offer.

“So female bull sharks move into the estuaries this time of year during the late summer months to give birth, and then there's lots of small sharks that are growing in those river systems, and over time they will disperse as they grow.

“So you would definitely expect to see more bull sharks this time of the year, adjacent to river and creek mouths.”

The breeding frenzy shout, the professor hinted, end around April or May time, which still leaves at least two months for the sharks to enjoy themselves.

He added: “The rainfall should be hanging around creek and river mouths for at least a couple more months.”

According to official statistics from the Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, the last bull shark attack took place in January, 2006, when 21-year-old Sarah Whiley was killed by a group of the animals at Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island in Queensland.

Her arms were horrendously severed during the attack.

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  • Animals
  • Sharks

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