Man likely bitten by great white shark near Bodega Bay in ‘rare’ attack: expert

A two-mile stretch of the Sonoma Coast, north of Bodega Bay, will remain closed to water activities until Tuesday morning because of a shark attack at north Salmon Creek.

The victim, who was bit in the thigh while surfing, remains hospitalized in stable condition.

A shark expert says these attacks are rare, but this is the time of year great white sharks are drawn to the Bay Area coastline.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm of conditions for the sharks in for the people to be in the water at the same time doing similar things and then causing confusion.”

Dr. Luiz Rocha, with the California Academy of Sciences, which has a shark exhibit up right now, says the most likely culprit that chomped down on a surfer’s thigh and his board is a great white.

There’s a reason some local surfers call this month shark-tober.

It’s because pupping season for sea lions and harbor seals happens in the summer, and now those juveniles are getting out into the water to catch fish.

“Juveniles, in general, are less experienced with predators, so they don’t know how to exactly run away. So it makes it easier for the sharks.”

The reason surfers end up getting bit is by accident because it’s harder for the sharks to see what they are biting, where the waves are breaking.

Dr. Rocha says great white sharks usually migrate to other locations in late fall and early winter, but even though the conditions are ripe for shark attacks right now, they are rare.

He says you’re more likely to get in a car accident on your way to the beach than getting bit by a shark out in the water.

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