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Elizabeth Bay in central Sydney (January 30)

Photo: Dan Himbrechts / EPA

It is midsummer in Australia and the high temperatures are driving many people to the country's beaches and bays. This also applies to the metropolis of Sydney, whose branched natural harbor offers plenty of opportunities to cool off. However, going into the water is not without risk – as has now been shown in Elizabeth Bay. A woman was attacked by a shark there.

The predatory fish was probably a bull shark, the AAP news agency reported on Tuesday, citing eyewitnesses and experts. The animals of this species are generally smaller than tiger sharks or great white sharks. However, bull sharks are considered dangerous to humans due to their sometimes aggressive behavior, wide distribution and ability to survive in brackish or even fresh water.

The attack occurred on Monday at sunset in the well-known bay not far from the center with the opera house and Harbor Bridge. The 29-year-old victim, who suffered serious injuries to his right leg, was swimming near a jetty when the shark bit, they said.

Helpers who rushed to the scene later described the scene: "The victim pulled himself up on the side of the harbor and tried to get to safety," said a resident. "Her leg was somehow hanging behind her - the water behind her was red with blood everywhere." The sight was terrible.

First aid was probably life-saving

A veterinarian immediately administered first aid and applied special bandages to the woman to stop the bleeding. The veterinarian most likely saved the life of the injured, praised local Health Minister Ryan Park. The woman was then taken to a nearby hospital. Her condition was said to be stable.

Shark attacks in Sydney Harbor are extremely rare. "It is likely that bull sharks come from Queensland waters to New South Wales and Sydney in the summer and autumn months to look for food," the ABC quoted shark researcher Amy Smoothey as saying. Towards the evening the animals often move to shallower waters. The authorities asked the population not to swim in the harbor for the time being.