Stop Sweating the Great White Shark. Here’s the One You Should Really Be Worried About

By Wire Service

Stop believing everything you saw in “Sharknado.”

Great white sharks, although some of the deadliest marine animals, can’t attack humans on land and won’t hurtle from the skies in a torrent of teeth to eat your children. In fact, you’re more likely to be killed by a fire ant.

But you should redirect that trepidation toward a more dangerous creature of the deep: the bull shark.

If you look only at the numbers, both the tiger and the great white surpass the bull shark in attacks and fatalities, with great whites totaling 314 attacks and 80 fatalities globally.

But here’s the thing: The threat of the bull shark lies not in how often it bites but where it does it.

Bull sharks present a particular threat due to the fact that they’re not averse to fresh or brackish water. So next time you hop on the river for a canoe ride, you might want to watch for dorsal fins.

One Australian golf course was even infested with them.

And whereas shallow waters are usually shark kryptonite, bull sharks prefer them. They like getting close to those sandy beaches, just like you.

But even the violation of what should be the safest part of the ocean isn’t the worst of this shark’s killer tendencies. The worst thing about this underwater predator is that it will take a chunk out of you out of sheer curiosity. That’s right, these guys bite just for the fun of it.

Bull sharks have even been known to attack hippos, land animals weighing in at 1½ tons, with some males getting up to nearly twice that.

So although bull sharks are responsible for only 100 attacks around the world, it takes just a bit of digging to realize that the fear factor of these aggressive predators is much, much higher.

Happy swimming!

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Wild Tiger Chases Motorcycle

An example of the kind of fear a tiger can evoke was captured on video when two forest rangers narrowly escaped with their lives after they were chased by a wild tiger in a forest in India.

The clip, which has since gone viral on Facebook, was shared by the Forests and Wildlife Protection Society. The department captions the video, “A Tiger is seen chasing a bike in Muthanga Wildlife Safari in Wayanad in Kerala. Is this how the Tiger Parks are managed in India?”

The first seconds of footage reveal the rangers riding a motorcycle along a road through a dense Indian forest. All of a sudden, a flash of bright orange pierces the greenery; a mature tiger races out of the forest towards the bike and its passengers.

The tiger gets dangerously close to the back of the motorcycle, before abruptly peeling off to the side of the road and retreating back into the woods. Through the nerve-wracking seconds, the two rangers can be heard yelling and exclaiming as the big cat gets too close for comfort.

The two individuals in the video are Forest Department officials, according to information a moderator from the Forests and Wildlife Protection Society gave the Hindustan Times. The two had been driving along the road to patrol the area after receiving reports of a tiger sighting.

The now-viral video accumulated over 2,900 reactions and over 11,000 shares, as of July 6. The comments section, now 1,300 strong, is a mix of terror, hilarity, and admiration.

Commenter Ranjith Vm said the “unbelievable” incident was from his district, adding that he “never met a tiger from that reserve wenever i try for it… what a chase.”

Rachita Choudhari also chimed in, writing, “Oh ho just stop and pet the kitty. It just wants to show some love.”

NTD Photo
First-time mother Kartika is seen as her three Sumatran Tiger cubs are placed on display at Taronga Zoo on March 29, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Many users commented on the skillful driving that was so instrumental in their escape, and praised the rangers for choosing a vehicle with enough horsepower to outspend the animal. Others classified the situation as unusual behavior for tigers.

One such person, Murugan Krishnan, critiqued other commenters for being “Keyboard warriors.”

“This is a Tiger Reserve and there are more than 200 tigers in this forest. All tigers do not behave this way. I regularly travel through this forest dreaming of spotting one. You have to be extremely lucky to even see one. This is just an exception from a behaviour point of view, just as humans are not the same. Just enjoy the video, Thank the stars that those two were not killed.”

Adult tigers have been clocked at 40 mph, according to National Geographic Kids. This is likely made possible by their strong hind legs, which Animal Planet says are longer than their front legs. The website adds that tigers are able to jump 20 to 30 feet forward in a single bound—despite some being quite hefty, such as the adult Amur or Siberian tigers, which can weigh up to 660 pounds.