Warning goes out after Cyclone Debbie leaves shark washed up on a road

Journalist Philip Calder found the bull shark washed up on a road and tweeted out a photo (above).
Journalist Philip Calder found the bull shark washed up on a road and tweeted out a photo (above).PHOTO: TWITTER/PHILIP CALDER

SYDNEY - Officials sent out a floodwater warning in Australia after a shark was discovered washed-up on a road following Cyclone Debbie.

Queensland Fire and Emergency tweeted a photo of the mud-covered bull shark with the message: "Think it's safe to go back in the water? Think again! A bull shark washed up in Ayr. Stay out of floodwater."

The powerful cyclone brought widespread disruption to the area including flash flooding. Thousands of people had to flee their homes and some are still without power.

Local journalist Phillip Calder was on his way to cover a story on the cyclone when he discovered the shark, tweeting that it was: "The only victim of Burdekin flooding."

"He must have gotten caught in a torrent and confused, beached himself on the side of the road," Mr Calder told news.com.au.

"We were pretty amazed, we were turning up to shoot a flooding road; we weren't expecting to see wildlife as well."

Bull sharks are common in the area, according to Mr Calder, and many of them live in creeks and rivers close to nearby communities. The Burdekin River, located in North and Far North Queensland, is known to house bull sharks, turtles and barracudas, said news.com.au.


Alongside great whites and tiger sharks, bull sharks are aggressive in nature and are the most likely to attack humans, said a BBC report.

Mr Calder said the shark is “the talk of the town”, while “a lot of people are turning up to touch it. They are pretty excited by it”.

Despite being in the firing line, Ayr received only moderate flooding, said news.com.au.

“We’ve escaped the brunt of the cyclone, we’re pretty relieved,” Mr Calder said.

According to an Instagram user who also took a photo of the shark, SES towed the shark back to the river “but it was too late”.