Here’s Why Land-Locked Kentucky Appears on a Shark Attack Database
A very long time ago, when I was a young child, my family used to enjoy swim days at Fish & Game Swim Lake in eastern Daviess County. It's still there, but today, membership is required.
I don't have the strongest memories of Fish & Game. I'm sure we did all the same stuff we used to do when we'd go swimming anywhere else, but, in terms of specifics, I only recall two things about those days all those years go. One was the muddy bottom of the lake, which always felt gross under my feet. The other thing was the fish. Yep, they were right there with us and would sometimes nip at our feet and ankles.
You Most Certainly CAN Find Sharks in Kentucky
And that's perfectly fine. We bore no scars, and it's not like we have any PIRANHA in Kentucky. Now, we do have jellyfish, but they're nowhere NEAR has problematic as the saltwater kind. And, of course, there are no SHARKS to worry about in the fresh waters of our Commonwealth. Oh we used to have them...
...but in 2023, if you want to see a shark and NOT leave the Bluegrass State, you'll need to visit the Newport Aquarium. Their presence at this very popular attraction is the reason land-locked Kentucky appears on a shark attack database. Who would have thought?
Kentucky's Unexpected Presence on a Shark Attack Database
If you do a YouTube search for "shark attacks", you'll get this one, but it doesn't seem to count. Maybe this sort of thing is considered part of the job and didn't show up on the list for that reason.
What DID count was a 2006 incident during which a dozen guests at the Newport Aquarium were bitten at an exhibit where they were allowed to touch the animals. (I wouldn't touch a shark under any circumstances, but that's me.) Now let's be clear...the injuries were extremely MINOR--on the level of a paper cut, according to CBS News.
Still, Shark Attack Data didn't care when it came to their assessment of the situation, calling them PROVOKED INCIDENTS. And yes, they used all caps. I don't know if this means the experts at Shark Attack Data were irritated or if that's just how they display their attack categories.
The main thing is that no one was really hurt. And I guess the incident was "provoked" since they were petting the sharks. Even if they were allowed, I supposed you could call it a provocation.
The Newport Aquarium's shark exhibits remain among their most popular attractions to this day.
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Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer