Don Punch, the Minister for Fisheries, said on Sunday that it was most likely a bull shark that attacked and killed Stella Berry, a 16-year-old high school student, in Perth’s Swan River.
Although it was not yet clear what type of shark carried out the attack, he noted that bull sharks were known to frequent the area.
According to Mr Punch, large sharks are known to frequent freshwater and estuaries areas.
The fatal attack on Stella, who was from Shenton College, happened on Saturday afternoon in the Swan River near the Fremantle Traffic bridge.
She was with her friends at the time of the incident. She was the daughter of two of her school teachers.
The incident was reported at around 3pm. Emergency services were then called to the scene.
However, Stella died at the hospital. According to the ABC, her friends had gathered at the water’s edge to pay their respects. Michael Morgan, the principal of Shenton College, said that the school’s chaplains, nurses, and psychologists would be available to help students.
In response to the tragic incident, Michael Morgan, the principal of Shenton College, offered his condolences to Stella’s family.
According to the West Australian newspaper, Stella’s parents were teachers at two schools: Methodist Ladies’ College and Scotch College.
Stella was a former student of St. Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, and the school’s principal, Fiona Johnston, said that the support services would be available to help students in the coming months.
She was a popular member of the school’s community and was loved by all. The entire school community has offered its condolences to Stella’s family and will do whatever it can to help them during this difficult time.
It is believed that Stella and her friends were in the water when the shark appeared. According to witnesses, they heard screams before they saw the shark.
They then saw a man who had jumped into the water to try and save Stella. Unfortunately, he was not able to save her.
In a statement on Saturday, Paul Robinson, the acting inspector of the Fremantle District, said that Stella’s friends were at the time of the attack.
He noted that the authorities were still trying to determine what type of shark attacked Stella.
It is believed that the attack was very traumatic for anyone to witness. Due to the nature of the incident, a shark warning was also issued to inform the public about the incident.
The species of shark that attacked Stella is not yet known. However, bull sharks are known to inhabit the area.
The beaches near the incident were temporarily closed on Sunday as the fisheries officers conducted land and water patrols.
In the Swan River, where the attack occurred, shark attacks are rare. This is connected to Fremantle Harbour through the Indian Ocean.