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Rare shark attack in Australia's Swan River near Perth

Paulina Duran
·1-min read

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian city of Perth is renowned for sharks off its beaches, but on Thursday a shark attacked a man swimming in the city's Swan River, biting him on the upper leg in the first shark attack in the river since 1969.

The man was attacked by what was likely to be a 2-to-3 metre (6.5-to-9.8 feet) bull shark during a morning swimming off Perth's Blackwall Reach reserve, officials said.

"There was a fair bit of blood in the water and the bite ... was wrapped right at the top of his thigh," Kieron Hayter, a local kayaker who helped the man to shore told Nine News. "Was a pretty decent bite."

He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) in a serious condition, a spokeswoman for the local ambulance service told Reuters. Local media reported the man was in his 50s and was in a stable condition.

RPH did not immediately return requests for comment.

The western Australian city of Perth and its coastline is renowned for Great White sharks and has had several attacks. In recent weeks some beaches have been closed due to an increase in shark sightings.

Attacks in the Swan River which flows into the ocean at the southern port city of Fremantle, just south of Perth, are rare. The last attack was in 1969 and the last reported shark-related fatality in 1923, when another swimmer was bitten on the legs.

The Swan River area where the attack took place was closed to the public until Friday, the state's Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) said in an emailed statement.

(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Michael Perry)