HomeOutdoorsNewsMassive Bull Shark Spotted Near Location of Fatal Attack on Teen

Massive Bull Shark Spotted Near Location of Fatal Attack on Teen

by Caitlin Berard
Bull Shark, Suspected Species Behind Fatal Attack
(Photo by NaluPhoto via Getty Images)

Just one month after a 16-year-old girl fell victim to a fatal shark attack, residents contacted authorities regarding a 10-foot bull shark swimming in the area.

At 12:20 pm local time, Surf Live Saving WA received a call from a member of the public. They reported spotting the 10-foot shark between the fourth and fifth jetty berths, near the location of 16-year-old Stella Berry’s fatal attack.

The large predator was swimming a mere 6 feet from the shoreline, sparking fear among Swan River visitors, who believe the same species killed Stella on February 4.

Shenton College student Stella Berry was exploring the Swan River with her friends on jet skis when the group saw a school of dolphins nearby. Hoping to swim with the docile creatures, Berry jumped off of her vehicle and into the water.

Her friends could do nothing but watch in horror as a shark appeared from the water, attacking the young girl. Witnesses on the scene reported a man dove into the water to help her, but it was too late. Back on shore, emergency services did their best to revive the teen. Unfortunately, however, she soon succumbed to her injuries on the scene.

The teen’s horrific death marked the first fatal shark attack in the Swan River in 100 years.

Young Fisherman Pulls 10-Foot Bull Shark From Swan River

Four days after Stella Berry’s tragic death, teen fisherman Kai Boyle reeled in a 10-foot shark from the same river. “It didn’t come from the ocean, it was in the river swimming past,” he told Perth Now. “They may potentially be dangerous to others and people can’t get their head around how big they get in the Swan River.”

At 7-12 feet in length and 200-500 pounds in weight, bull sharks aren’t the largest species but still an intimidating size. In the summer months, female bull sharks often venture into the river to have their pups, birthing anywhere from 1 to 13 at a time.

After snapping a few photos of the large shark, Boyle released the predator back into the river. A week later, another fisherman reeled in a tiger shark from Swan River. Though experts suspect a bull shark was behind the fatal attack, a tiger shark is another possibility.

Officials to Ban Shark Fishing Following Fatal Attack

Following the release of the shark catch photos the week of Stella’s death, the town of East Fremantle voted to ban shark fishing from the shores of Swan River, hoping to prevent any further fatal attacks in the future.

“It’s never been an issue for us in the town regarding the river, but in the last few weeks it’s become apparent that we need to address it,” East Fremantle Mayor Jim O’Neill told ABC News.

The city advised all residents of the new ban six weeks before it went into effect. When it becomes active, any fisherman caught hunting for sharks will received a $500 fine.

“I would hope that … the moment it’s enforced, or it’s adopted, that would dissuade people,” O’Neill said. “I think most people would be fair and reasonable to say, ‘Look, you know, this isn’t a safe activity.'”