Shark Attacks Man in River, Rips Off Foot and Most of Calf

Shark Attacks Man in River, Rips Off Foot and Most of Calf

Aseven-foot-long bull shark has attacked a man in a river in India, ripping off part of his lower leg.

The 32-year-old man, Vickey Govari, had been fishing in the Vaitarna River in the state of Maharashtra’s Palghar district when the shark attacked.

As the shark lunged at the man, it severed his left leg at the ankle and ripped off most of his calf, the Times of India reported. Govari was rushed to a hospital where he is receiving treatment. His leg may need to be amputated, the Times of India reported.

Witnesses to the attack are said to have dragged the shark out the water and beat it to death, the news outlet said. Police, however, claimed the shark, which reportedly weighed 200 kg, died during a rescue operation.

Bull sharks usually live in the open ocean, but they are known for their ability to migrate up rivers, which can sometimes mean they become a threat to humans.

The species is also able to breed in freshwater. Reports by locals that the shark that attacked Govari had been pregnant could not be verified.

A marine biologist told the Times of India that it may have been searching for food.

The Bull shark is one of the Big Three shark species, alongside the Great White and the Tiger Shark. These three species pose the most danger to humans, and are usually the ones involved in serious attacks.

The Bull shark is considered one of the most dangerous shark species in the world. They are especially territorial and are known for having a vicious temperament.

A shark might attack a human if it is feeling vulnerable, which may have been a factor in the attack on Govari as the shark may have considered it was away from its natural habitat. If a shark is actively hunting, it also may be more likely to attack a human that is in the same vicinity.

Occasionally sharks can mistake humans for their preferred prey if they make noises in water that are similar or if they look similar from a distance.

Shark attacks are very rare in India, with only 14 confirmed unprovoked attacks ever recorded.

The latest incident may be the first attack by a marine predator on a human along the Maharashtra coast, the Times of India reported.

This article by Robyn White was first published by Newsweek on 15 February 2024. Lead Image: A picture shows a bull shark. A man attacked by a bull shark in India may lose his left leg. STEVE HINCZYNSKI/GETTY.

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