Bull shark attacks mostly occur in shallow, murky warmer waters. Their preference for feeding under these conditions increase their interaction with swimmers.
The bull sharks came back into spotlight following the attack on 12-year-old, Nicholas Vossler. Vossler was swimming near Matagorda Island, Texas, when a bull shark attacked the boy and severely injured his foot, according to Firstcoastnews.com. The water was only about 3 feet deep. Following surgery, Vossler is expected to regain full use of his foot.
According to Nationalgeographic.com, bull sharks prefer coastal waters that are less than 100 feet deep. This is thought to make them the most dangerous sharks of all to humans.
The sharks can inhabit both salt and fresh waters. They have kidneys that can recycle the salt within their bodies and special glands that also aid in salt retention.
The bull sharks can grow to about 7.5 feet and weigh up to 285 pounds. The sharks are very territorial and can exhibit extremely aggressive behavior towards anything, including humans, that enters their territory.
The sharks are frequently spotted in Florida's coastal waters. There have been two known fatalities near Florida between 2000 and 2005 attributed to bull shark attacks. Jamie Marie Daigle, 14, was killed June 25, 2005 while swimming with a friend on a boogie board, according to Cbsnews.com. The attack happened only 100 yards from shore.
On Aug. 30, 2000, Thadeus Kubinski, 69, was killed while swimming with his wife. The shark attack occurred at about 4 p.m. and he was less than 10 feet from a dock.
Shark attacks are not frequent, but the results of an attack can be deadly. There are several ways you can reduce the chance of an attack.
Follow these helpful tips from George H. Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History.Stay in groups. Avoid swimming during darkness or twilight hours. Stay out of the water if you are bleeding. Don't wear shiny jewelry or bright-colored clothing while swimming. Sharks have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to shiny objects in the water.
Most importantly, do not enter the water if sharks are present and evacuate immediately if a shark is seen.
Remnants of thunderstorms on the High Plains from Wednesday will re-fire farther east over the Mississippi Valley Thursday into Thursday night.
Building code changes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy are raising rebuilding costs for homeowners and other property owners while still attempting to mitigate future damages.
A cold storm will bring rain and snow to California Friday and Saturday, but heat returns again next week.
Following a cooldown at midweek for Cleveland, temperatures will remain below normal through the weekend.
A dangerous multiple-day severe weather outbreak will begin this weekend over the South Central states and will include the potential for nighttime tornadoes in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.
Helena, MT (1960)
19.4" of snow; up to 30" in higher elevations.
Bismarck, ND (1962)
91 degrees -- heat wave in the Plains.
Mathis, TX (1990)
A stationary thunderstorm dumped about 8" of rain in two hours at a grain elevator just west of town.