An Australian fisherman shocked the internet earlier this month after reeling in a bull shark that had reportedly been “eating pigs.” A video of the encounter went viral on TikTok. The clip shows him pulling parts of a wild pig, namely a handful of hooves, from the predatory fish’s stomach.
@nt_sharkwranglers So caught this small bullshark off the wharf to use as bait and boy did we get a surpise when we had a look inside its stomach! #landbasedsharkfishing #lbsf #shark #fishing #bullshark #screamingreels #shimanofishing #tightlines #stomach #pigs #pigsfeet ♬ original sound – NT Shark Wranglers
On the social platform, the fisherman wrote, “caught this small bull shark off the wharf to use as bait and boy did we get a surprise when we had a look inside its stomach!”
Viewers shared their shock and horror in the comments after learning that the massive predator had been eating pigs. Additionally, they were also curious why the fisherman and his companions were using bull sharks as bait. But we’ll get to that later.
“This is a pig’s trotter,” we can hear the man say in the clip. “This bull shark has been eating pigs.”
As unusual as that sounds, wildlife experts offered a completely reasonable explanation as to why the fisherman found pig remains in the shark’s stomach. Daryl McPhee, a coastal ecologist and associate professor at Australia’s Bond University shared his insight about the out-of-the-ordinary clip.
“It is not surprising to find offal in the stomachs of large sharks such as bull sharks,” he explained. “Bull sharks are scavengers and are known to eat various livestock when they find their way into waterways, typically after flooding.”
In addition to foraging for pigs, these predatory creatures have consumed a variety of livestock, with fishermen finding the remains of horses, sheep, and cattle.
How Do Bull Sharks Hunt Livestock Animals?
Given that sharks are marine predators, it’s still strange that the one in the clip above snagged a pig for lunch. Fortunately, there’s a logical explanation for that as well.
Newsweek labeled wild pigs as “common pests” across Australia. Locals usually find them occupying areas close to water. That said, it’s likely that a crocodile attacked and fed on the one in the bull shark’s stomach. Interestingly, due to the surplus of wild pigs, crocodiles have adjusted their diets to take advantage of the pesty species. Afterward, the bull shark probably took advantage of the croc’s kill and claimed what was left.
So with all that information, viewers had just one more question. Why was the fisherman gunning for bull shark as bait in the first place? Addressing one commenter’s question, he responded, “Larger sharks such as tigers and hammerheads are really drawn to the scent a lot more than other baits[,] except stingray[,] that’s the ultimate shark bait.”