Saturday, June 07, 2008

Can Sharks Get A Taste For Human Flesh?

The majority of shark attacks on humans are written off as mistaken identity. The shark thinks the swimming human is a seal, or something else it usually eats. But a recent spate of attacks have some scientists thinking that "packs of bull sharks are now actively hunting humans for the first time after a series of horriifying attacks in the waters off a popular resort."

The theory emerged after two surfers were killed and one badly injured in a month. A fourth swimmer is missing at the Mexican seaside town...

Locals fear one rogue shark is responsible but experts believe a pack of deadly bull sharks are actively targeting humans for the first time.

They think the 3m fish could have developed a taste for human flesh after devouring hundreds of corpses dumped into the sea by mobsters.

The beach at Zihuantanejo – near Acapulco and popular with international tourists – had not previously recorded a shark incident in more than 30 years.

And, with an annual average of only four fatal shark attacks globally, the fact that two people have died along the same stretch of coast within weeks has astonished international experts.

The Zihuantanejo deaths come halfway through what is already turning into a bumper year for shark attacks.

Zihuantanejo is now gripped by fear. Police have been guarding beaches and signs warn against going into the water.

Local businessmen, worried the deaths will devastate the tourist industry, hired fishermen to kill the sharks.

Mexican navy vessels were brought in last week to scour the waters for sharks.

Jose Leonardo Castillo, chief shark investigator for Mexico’s National Fishing Institute, said yesterday: “One theory we’re investigating is that a group of sharks have developed a taste for humans.”

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