After severe coastal flooding hit Mobile, Alabama, one woman's family woke up to an odd surprise in their yard.
The path of Hurricane Patricia through the Caribbean ensured that strong rainfall and flooding would affect several regions, states and countries. Although floodwaters can move items, it is reportedly rare that a shark would be among the things one might find after a flood.
Whitney Constantine told WALA News she found the shark after knee-deep floodwaters had subsided from their coastal home. The flooding from Oct. 26 brought the animal into the yard, WALA reports. She said they often experience flooding after heavy rain, but never to this extent.
According to Dr. Marcus Drymon, professor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama, the animal was a bull shark no older than 1 year old. This type of shark can survive in both salt and fresh water.
"You can tell by its size and some of its features," Drymon explained. "It's what we call a 'young of the year' shark. Its mother probably went somewhere around the entrance to Mobile Bay and had that pup sometime in April or May of this year so that individual fish is about 5 or 6 months old."
He thinks the shark made its way into the yard during the flooding, but the water receded too quickly for the animal to return to the bay.
Many bull sharks live in the area, specifically in Mobile Bay and Dog River, according to the professor. Nevertheless, this type of aquatic discovery is uncommon, Drymon told WMC Action News. His associates receive a few calls each year about dead sharks that have washed up onto shorelines, but this is the first time that one has washed up in someone's yard.
As the shark was surrounded by flies, it was probably dead for quite some time before Constantine spotted it.
Constantine's husband will probably bury the shark, reports WALA News.