Bull Sharks, Humans Find Common Ground on Northern Gulf Coast

Bull sharks and human beings have something in common. Both species head for the beaches of the northern Gulf Coast every summer.

Those migratory patterns intersected with disastrous consequences during the first week of summer this year.

A bull shark killed a 14-year-old girl near Sandestin on Saturday. A 16-year-old boy who was attacked Monday at Cape San Blas was upgraded from critical to stable condition Wednesday at a Panama City hospital.

Doctors had to amputate the right leg of Craig Allen Hutto of Lebanon, Tennessee, because it was so severely mauled in the attack at Cape San Blas in Gulf County.

George Burgess is curator of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. He has not yet confirmed whether a bull shark bit Hutto, but the attack had all the characteristics of a bull.

They prefer shallow coastal waters and tend to make repeated attacks on large prey. Bull sharks congregate in the region during the summer to give birth to their pups.