UPDATE Looks like NBC pulled the video. NBC affiliate WLTZ still has print version of the story up. Check out the comments for some reader opinion on the story.
NBC’s Today ran a feature on Noel Tood, a Georgia teen who recently caught a bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) measuring over 8′ in length and weighing 368 lbs. While bull sharks are often targeted by shark fishermen, the reason this story seems to be making headlines is due to the fact that the shark was caught in shallow freshwater. (Bull sharks are well-known for their ability to tolerate freshwater, and there are multiple documented cases of the species traveling great distances up rivers.)
Todd told NBC that he spotted two bull sharks in a shallow pool, and quickly grabbed his gear and hooked one of the sharks and dragged it to shore. Todd said that the shark that “got away” was much larger than the one he caught.
The NBC report mentions a theory that bull sharks are following shrimp boats back into the area, which might explain the presence of the species in what might be considered an abnormal location for them.
The Today Show really pulled out all the stops on this report when it comes to shark clichés. The clip has ominous music, multiple scenes from “Jaws,” and plenty of “man-eater” references. A fair amount of footage of a relatively harmless sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) also finds its way into the report.