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Great White shark hunting off Perth: police

10-11-2011 15:27 BJT

by Xinhua writer Christian Edwards

SYDNEY, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Police fear a Great White shark is cruising the river systems off Western Australia's capital city, Perth, with the discovery of a missing man's clothes late Monday.

Reports have confirmed that the clothes a pair of swimming trunks - belong to the missing man, Bryn Martin, a 64-year-old local resident from Mosman Park.

The search will continue on Tuesday with a press conference expected later on with local residents fearing the worst.

Martin was last seen shortly after 11 a.m. Eastern Australian Standard Time swimming 350 meters off the popular Cottesloe Beach.

Family of the missing man alerted police to his disappearance about an hour later and a sea and air search ensued, with police divers discovering torn clothing late in the afternoon.

Duty commander Neil Blair told reporters the missing man's wife confirmed the located clothes were identical to those her husband was wearing. "Fisheries experts have viewed the bathers and were of the opinion the damage is consistent with that a white pointer shark could cause," he said.

The Great White shark, also known as the white pointer, great pointer or white shark is commonly found near colonies of seal, its preferred prey, although it also takes dolphins, stranded whales and larger fish and sea animals.

Because of its size and aggressive bite, attacks on humans are often fatal, some victims being completely eaten.

The head of Macquarie University's marine ecology group, Jane Williams, said there is no detectable correlation between the growing frequency of attacks around Australia and changes in climate.

"If anything, it is more likely that we humans are straying more into shark territory than the other way round," she said.

According to the Australian Shark Attack File, kept by researchers at Sydney's Taronga Conservation Society, there have been 873 shark attacks in Australia since records began in 1791, 211 of which have been fatal. All together, about 30 percent of shark attacks are recorded as fatal.

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Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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