That Fun Time When a Bull Shark Made it All the Way to Illinois
When I think of sharks (and I do often), I don't think of Illinois. Perhaps I should change my thinking as I've learned of at least one time when a bull shark made it all the way to Alton.
Big thanks to the History Channel for making sure that I never swim in the river again. Their Monster Quest show dedicated an entire episode to bull sharks that make it into our rivers from the ocean.
While much of their episode was dedicated to a search for bull sharks in Louisiana, they did deal with a legendary story about a bull shark that was captured near Alton, Illinois back in the 1930's. I'll save you some time where you can jump to around the 11 minute mark when they have a shark expert examine the Alton shark encounter.
As the show shares, eyewitnesses watched two Illinois fisherman wrestling with something huge in one of their nets. Once they got the fish into the boat, they realized it was a huge bull shark.
Based on what Monster Quest discovered, it's not that unusual for sharks to find their way into our rivers. You'd think that this far inland, the worse you'd have to deal with would be mean carp or maybe snakes. Nope. Add sharks to the potential hazards of life in the river. It's happened before.