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Fourth Of July Shark Attack In Texas: How Rare Are These Attacks?

At least two people were bitten by a shark this Fourth of July in South Padre Island, Texas, but how common is it to be bitten by a shark in the state?

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, two people were bitten in the attack and two others encountered the shark but were not seriously injured. Officials said the attack was linked to a single shark, but attacks like this are not common in Texas.

Texas Game Wardens said in a statement that shark attacks are rare.

“Shark encounters of this nature are not a common occurrence in Texas,” the statement reads. “When bites from sharks do occur, they are usually a case of mistaken identity by sharks looking for food.”

According to the Shark Research Institute’s Global Shark Attack File, there have been six shark attacks in Texas since 1911. This means that less than one person per year has been bitten by a shark in the state.

The state with the most reported shark attacks by far is Florida, followed by Hawaii, California and South Carolina. Texas is the sixth state with the most reported shark attacks.

Globally, however, the chances of being bitten and killed by a shark are extremely low. According to Business Insider, the odds are one in 3.75 million, even lower than the odds of dying from a lightning strike or fireworks accident. 

Shark attacks are also decreasing every year.

“It’s likely that fatalities are down because some areas have recently implemented rigorous beach safety protocols, especially in Australia,” Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Florida Program for Shark Research, told Forbes.

But declining shark populations may also be a factor. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year in fisheries. About a third of all known shark species are endangered. 

So while this latest incident in South Padre Island involved four people, it is certainly a very rare case and you should be safe from shark attacks. 

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


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