Bull Shark Attack Shocks Maharashtra’s Vaitarna River: First Sighting 40km Upstream

Bull Shark Attack Shocks Maharashtra’s Vaitarna River: First Sighting 40km Upstream

The bull shark attack on a fisherman in the Vaitarna River at Dongripada, Palghar district, Maharashtra, on February 13, marked a significant incident, being the first sighting of a bull shark 40km upstream in the river near Manor.

Incident Details

  • The victim, Vicky Govari, a 32-year-old fisherman, had a severe injury to his left leg, with the bull shark ripping off almost the entire calf muscle.
  • Govari was rescued by locals and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital.
  • The bull shark, weighing approximately 550 kg and measuring seven feet in length, died following the attack.

Autopsy Findings

  • Autopsy of the bull shark revealed it was pregnant, carrying 15 pups, each weighing 5 to 6 kg and around 60 cm long.
  • The cause of death for the shark remains undetermined, with possibilities including injury in shallow water or retaliation by locals after the attack on Govari.

Local Observations

  • Fishermen in the area reported a lack of previous sightings of sharks near Manor or in other rivers and creeks in Palghar district.
  • Elders cautioned about specific areas, such as Paragon and Darshet along the Vaitarna River, believed to be breeding grounds for sharks and other fish species.

Expert Opinions

  • Anil Chaudhari, an expert in fishing and navigation, suggested that the pregnant bull shark might have traveled upstream due to scarcity of food in the sea, as observed during high tides.
  • Sai Tare, a fisherman, attributed the increasing presence of fishes in the Vaitarna River to deep pits created by sand excavation, providing breeding grounds and ample food supply.
  • Anand Ambire, another fisherman, implied that shark attacks on humans are usually provoked, suggesting Govari might have instigated the attack.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Where did the bull shark attack on a fisherman occur?
    • A) Navapur
    • B) Dongripada
    • C) Satpati
    • D) Kelwe
    • Answer: B) Dongripada
  2. What was the injury sustained by the fisherman, Vicky Govari?
    • A) Severed arm
    • B) Deep abdominal wound
    • C) Calf muscle torn off
    • D) Facial lacerations
    • Answer: C) Calf muscle torn off
  3. What was the weight of the bull shark involved in the attack?
    • A) 450 kg
    • B) 550 kg
    • C) 650 kg
    • D) 750 kg
    • Answer: B) 550 kg
  4. What was discovered during the autopsy of the bull shark?
    • A) It had a damaged tail fin
    • B) It had swallowed a large fish
    • C) It was pregnant with 15 pups
    • D) It had a broken jaw
    • Answer: C) It was pregnant with 15 pups
  5. According to Sai Tare, what factor contributes to the increased presence of fishes in the Vaitarna River?
    • A) Decrease in water temperature
    • B) Mechanical dredging
    • C) Pollution from nearby factories
    • D) Introduction of foreign fish species
    • Answer: B) Mechanical dredging