A 5-foot-long bull shark was discovered in the middle of a muddy road around 10 miles from the ocean in Ayr, Australia. The deceased shark was found two days after Tropical Cyclone Debbie struck the area, bring along winds that reached speeds of 163 mph, though authorities aren’t sure if the storm is what brought the shark inland.
Emergency personnel did attempt to tow the shark back to the nearby river, but it was too late. As reported by WTOC, the Queensland Fire and Rescue took pictures of the scene, admitting they couldn’t be sure what actually happened to the now deceased shark. However, it did prompt a warning for residents to stay out of the floodwaters.
— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) March 30, 2017
A local journalist, as reported by UPI, considered himself shocked to come across such a scene and even hypothesized about how the situation came about: “He must’ve gotten caught in a torrent and confused, beached himself on the side of the road.”
The journalist went on to refer to the bull shark as, “the only victim of Burdekin flooding.”
Some locals who took in the scene likened the experience to the film “Sharknado”:
— Marcus Middleton (@MMiddleton_10) March 30, 2017
Bull sharks are often found in the area, especially in the nearby Burdekin River. Having the ability to survive in both saltwater and freshwater, bull sharks are able to swim inland via rivers and streams. They are also considered one of the most aggressive shark species, similar to tiger sharks and great whites.
Other species common to the Burdekin River include turtles and barracudas. The potential to encounter an aggressive species, especially after a severe storm, leads the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to provide additional warnings like the following message, “You never know what lurks beneath the surface during a severe storm and what will wash up in the aftermath,” the post continues with the hashtag #ifitsfloodedforgetit.
Cyclone Debbie was responsible for massive evacuations and left over 50,000 homes without power. The area where the shark was found wasn’t considered to be one of the hardest hit areas. Instead, the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach, and Proserpine seemingly took the brunt of the storm.
Communities in New South Wales are currently under evacuation orders, with the flood waters expecting to peak on Friday morning.