Watch Shark Swimming in Floodwater Near Kids' Playground

A shark has been filmed swimming near a kids' playground after flooding hit parts of Australia. The bull shark's fin can be seen emerging from the water in footage taken by Judi Ellis, from the city of Maryborough in Queensland, and posted to Facebook by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

"We often talk about the dangers lurking in flood waters, well here is the proof!" QFES wrote in its post. "A small bull shark has been spotted in flood water at Queens Park, Maryborough. With children on school holidays it is a timely reminder of how dangerous flood waters can be and the need to stay clear."

Bull sharks can grow up to 11 feet and are considered one of the most dangerous species because they live close to coasts and in rivers, meaning they regularly come into contact with humans. Young bull sharks spend their first few years living in rivers, before moving out to sea when they get older.

They make use of waterways that emerge during rainy periods and floods. In November last year, shark scientist Dr. Leonardo Guida posted a picture of a bull shark that had been baked by the sun after the billabong it was trapped in dried up. The billabong—an isolated pond created by flooding or by a river changing course—was over 30 miles from the coast. Guida told Newsweek at the time this bull shark did not manage to make it back to the river before the waterway disappeared.

Guida, from the Australian Marine Conservation Society, said it was not unusual to see a shark in flooded areas, as is seen in the QFES video. "Bull sharks live in rivers across tropical Australia, many of which are situated on floodplains so it's perfectly natural for bull sharks to take advantage of floodwaters," he told Newsweek. "Floodwaters can expand suitable habitats and provide extra resources for bull sharks by connecting otherwise separated water bodies like creeks, billabongs, lakes or nearby rivers.

"Juvenile bull sharks, like the one in the video, live upstream in rivers until they're big enough to head out to the ocean. Queens Park is situated on the banks of the Mary River, about 30km upstream from the mouth so it's no surprise that as the waters rose, it decided to explore its new surroundings."

Responding to QFES' Facebook post, user Steve Adam said: "Floods are like a bull shark highway. Helps them get up/in to places normally inaccessible to them."

Maryborough is on Australia's east coast, approximately 160 miles north of Brisbane. Extreme flooding has hit the area in the last two days, with an emergency alert issued on January 9. A statement from QFES said the Mary River was expected to exceed its major flood level peak. "Properties in the area may experience flooding based on the predicted height," it said. "Residents are advised to move to higher ground, secure their belongings and warn others."

It said it had attended over 70 incidents over the weekend and had received more than 200 requests for assistance. "Even as floodwaters recede, some roads remain cut off and others have been severely damaged by powerful flowing water," a QFES statement said. "Please reconsider your need to travel and if you come across any flooded roads, the smartest thing you can do is back it up and find another route. It's never worth the risk."

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology has also issued warnings for Tropical Cyclone Tiffany, which made landfall on January 10, at 2 p.m. local time. It said the cyclone was producing winds of up to 77 mph, with heavy rain impacting communities in the north of Queensland.

This article has been updated with additional quotes from Dr. Leonardo Guida.

bull shark
Stock image of a bull shark. A shark was spotted swimming in floodwater near a kids' playground. Getty Images