Leaping sharks at North Wall
JEAN COX'S relaxing walk along North Wall at Ballina last Saturday morning led to a sight that surprised her.
The Ballina woman saw a shark jump from the water at the mouth of the river as she sat at the end of the wall about 10am.
She said she didn't even know sharks jumped from the water.
As she sat, she met Neil and Glenda McInnes, holidaying from Murarrie in Queensland, and Neil showed her some photos he had captured a bit earlier of a shark jumping.
Mr McInnes took the shot looking east at the end of the wall.
Ms Cox asked for a copy of the photos to show her son, a keen surfer, and Mr McInnes was keen to share the images he captured.
Dr Danny Bucher, from Southern Cross University in Lismore, has identified the shark as a bull shark because of its blunt snout and broad dark pectoral fins.
He said bull sharks were one of a number of species documented to leap clear of the water.
“The reason for doing this is not often clear,” he said. “Suggestions include dislodging parasites, herding prey fish or escaping attack from larger sharks.
“Bull sharks have been also recorded leaping over obstacles during their frequent journeys upstream into freshwater.
“But not all sharks leap. Other species known to regularly leap out of the water include shortfin mako, blacktip, thresher and spinner sharks.
“However, the most well-documented case is the great whites off South Africa that are induced to leap after baits.”