South and Central Florida experts say 14-year-old Jaime Daigle of Louisiana was attacked and killed by a bull shark off Miramar Beach last Saturday, and they suspect it was a bull that attacked Craig Hutto Monday.
Local Gulf experts say they're not surprised.
Bull sharks are known to come close to our shores. One literally came on-shore in Seaside a few years ago. A whole school of bull sharks have even been seen swimming in the Deer Point Dam, which is fresh water.
"Bull sharks have been known to go up the Mississippi River all the way up to Memphis, Tennessee, 1,000 miles," says Captain Laney Rinehart, a veteran sea captain.
Local marine life experts say they weren't surprised to hear a bull shark was responsible for killing 14-year-old Jaime Daigle, and that a bull shark is probably to blame in an attack on 16-year-old Tennessee native, Craig Hutto. The last notable attack by a bull shark was in 2001 near Pensacola. Eight-year-old Jessie Armogast lost his right arm.
"Just being local, the number of bull sharks is tremendous. There's an awful lot of them. These attacks probably happened because of the large amount of bull sharks we have in this area," says Ron Hardy, a local marine life expert.
Bull sharks have killed at least 21 people worldwide, second only to tiger sharks and great whites, according to the International Shark Attack File. Experts say bull sharks are harder to identify than other species, which means they probably account for a large amount of attacks where the species is unknown.