Dangerous bull sharks to be evicted from Queensland neighborhood

A Sunshine Coast Council voted to endorse relocating bull sharks from the Twin Waters canal system.

A Sunshine Coast Council voted to endorse relocating bull sharks from the Twin Waters canal system. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

For most normal neighborhoods, the worst things residents must deal with are rabbits, rodents or insects. But for a Queensland, Australia, neighborhood, the pests are a bit more dangerous.

Actually, a lot more dangerous.

Twin Waters, a suburb of Sunshine Coast, is dealing with a small infestation of dangerous bull sharks. Yes, bull sharks.

At least seven bull sharks were spotted in the Twin Waters canal system last year, prompting the Sunshine Coast Council to vote to endorse relocating them at a cost of $60,000 in the interest of public safety.

“It’s a good result,” councilor Jason O’Pray told AAP, according to 9News. “It’s better to be safe than sorry…

“We’ve got kids, dogs and animals, all sorts of things that swim and play in the Twin Waters canal system, and it’s dangerous so we’ve got to do something,” added O’Pray, talking to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Twin Waters neighborhood and canals via Google Maps

Twin Waters neighborhood and canals. Image: Google Maps

So, how do bull sharks get into the landlocked canal system alongside the homes?

They swim from the ocean up the Maroochy River and access the canals of Twin Waters by swimming or crawling over a barrier at high tide.

“These things actually know how to walk, and I know that sounds a bit odd, but they know how to get on top of the weir [barrier], crawl with their side fins, and get over the top of this weir system and fall back into the water on the other side,” O’Pray told ABC.

“Once they get in there, they’re safe, there’s a lot of food supply, so they don’t really want to get out.”

Jeff Johnson, an ichthyologist with Queensland Museum, disputed the claim bull sharks can walk, but conceded they might be able to use their fins to traverse a short distance of shallow water.

Johnson told ABC that bull sharks are common in canals and estuaries in Australia and the number of shark attacks remains low.

He said the population is in the hundreds in the Brisbane River, yet “there’s very little interaction with people and bull sharks.”

“They’re not an immediate constant threat, but if they do come across humans — there certainly have been attacks,” Johnson told ABC.

The bull sharks will be caught, tagged and released into the ocean in this one-year trial. The program will begin when the funds are allocated at budget time for the 2016-’17 fiscal year.

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