A pet dog was taken by a shark as it frolicked in shallow water on a popular off-leash beach in Sydney on Sunday.
The American Staffordshire Terrier, a rescue dog named Molly, was fetching a stick from the water when the shark grabbed her.
It was believed to be a bull shark, measuring around 3.5m long – local authorities have since installed signs warning people to avoid swimming in the area, and for pet owners to keep their dogs out of the water.
“We were pretty traumatised, it was horrific,” said one of Molly’s owners, Nigel, from Sydney’s south, who said that Molly was around 5m off-shore when the attack took place.
“We were just throwing the stick in the water. The tide was really far out and there was a bit of a drop off [where the water became deeper],” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It was very quick. It just took her under the water.”
Neither he nor his wife saw Molly again after that; it was not possible to retrieve her body.
The attack follows a spate of shark sightings in the area; on February 9th a chilling video showed a kite surfer surfing towards a shark at nearby Brighton Le Sands, whilesharks were spotted 6 miles away at Alexandra Canal, and another was seen in shallow water at Botany Bay.