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Boy Catches Shark In Fresh Water, 'Today Show' Reports On The Dramatic Capture (VIDEO)


First Posted: 10/06/11 06:39 PM ET Updated: 11/28/11 05:48 PM ET

Noel Todd, a 16-year-old boy from Valona, Georgia, recently had the "catch of a lifetime," according to a report on NBC's "The Today Show."

Todd was at the fishing dock in his hometown when he spotted two bull sharks in the water. What's notable is that these two sharks were spotted in fresh water, close to land.

"The Today Show" suggests that bull sharks are in these waters because they are following shrimp boats that throw fish overboard.

According to the Associated Press, the Department of Natural Resources in Brunswick's Carolyn Belcher says that "since smaller sharks have been displaced lately because of changing salinity in creeks, the larger sharks are moving in."

"The Today Show" narrates, "In the movie 'Jaws,' the hunt for a killer shark took place in the open ocean. For Noel Todd, his shark showdown was basically in his backyard."

Todd caught the 8.5-ft long, 368-lb. shark with a shark hook, bait, and ropes, and then dragged the animal to the dock. It's an unspoken assumption that the shark was then killed, as the narrator concludes that Todd gave the shark to a friend and kept the jaws for himself.

With haunting music in the background, "The Today Show" describes "man-eating bull sharks, responsible for more deadly shark attacks than any other breed. Fast, aggressive, and they can swim in fresh water."

Meanwhile, National Geographic's website reads that while bull sharks have attacked people "inadvertently or out of curiosity ... humans are not, per se, on their menus."

An aquarium curator told "The Today Show" that "bull sharks are a very aggressive animal ... No doubt, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time, a tragedy like that could occur."

On the other hand, sharks are often in the wrong place at the wrong time.

National Geographic writes that while bull sharks are not currently endangered, "they are fished widely for their meat, hides, and oils, and their numbers are likely shrinking. One study has found that their average lengths have declined significantly over the past few decades."

George Burgess, the University of Florida's Shark Attack File Director, told MSNBC earlier this year that an average of five people per year are killed by sharks, while 70 million sharks are killed per year by fishing fleets.

PETA recently released a controversial ad targeted at fisherman C.J. Wickersham, who was bitten by a shark. The ad read, "Payback Is Hell, Go Vegan." At the time, PETA told The Huffington Post, "Sharks are not the most dangerous predators on Earth, we are."

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections