Australia is well known for its deadly bestiary, but you’d at least expect to be safe from sharks if you stay on land.
That’s why residents of Ayr, Queensland were shocked to find a bull shark washed up on a flooded road after tropical cyclone Debbie blew through the area.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) shared photos of the parked shark on social media, and warned people to keep out of the flood water: “Think it’s safe to go back in the water? Think again!” they posted.
We’ve got this far into the story without making a Sharknado reference, so let’s just get it out of the way: this story is a bit like the movie Sharknado.
By the time the shark was found it was quite dead, presumably after being on a hell of a ride – Ayr sits some 15km from the coast, though the Burdekin River passes just outside the town. Some residents removed teeth from the shark as souvenirs.
Bull sharks can grow up to 7.9ft long, and are well-known for swimming far inland via rivers. This isn’t the first time one has been spotted in a populated area – during the 2010-11 Queensland floods a bull shark was reportedly spotted swimming the flooded streets of Brisbane. A golf course lake in Queensland is home to several bull sharks, the course holding a monthly ‘Shark Lake Challenge.’
Cyclone Debbie has now passed, after flooding vast tracts of land and leaving at least three people dead.