Shark Bites Boy— in Louisiana Lake

Lake Pontchartrain is actually an estuary connected to Gulf of Mexico
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2014 5:51 AM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2014 5:33 PM CDT
In this Aug. 7, 2013, photo provided by Christine Shepard, a bull shark is pulled toward a boat for sampling and measuring during a shark tagging expedition off Islamorada in the Florida Keys.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Christine Shepard)
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(Newser) – A screaming 7-year-old boy was pulled from Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana last week, his left foot oozing blood. It wasn't until he calmed down enough to stop screaming that he managed to explain that something had hit and then charged him in the water, biting so hard he had to kick to get it off. And while he was doubtful at first, a man who tags sharks for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says when he saw the kid's foot he knew: "Without a doubt, it's a bull shark—probably around 5 feet," he told Bull sharks are known to attack humans from time to time.

While many boaters, swimmers, and fishermen don't realize there are sharks in Lake Pontchartrain, there are plenty. That's because the 630-square-mile lake is misleadingly named; it's not a true lake, but rather an estuary that feeds into the Gulf of Mexico, where salt and fresh waters mingle, according to That doesn't make the boy's mom any less stunned. "We've been swimming in the lake forever," she tells WWLTV. "You don't think something like that will happen." The bites were deep, but the boy is expected to recover. (In a New York creek in June, a kayaker was savagely attacked by a beaver.)

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