Video: Analyzing Florida attacks

msnbc.com
updated 6/28/2005 1:20:12 PM ET 2005-06-28T17:20:12

After two shark attacks off of the Florida panhandle in three days, MSNBC's Randy Meier spoke with renowned marine biologist Dr. Samuel H. Gruber on Tuesday to learn more about attacks. Gruber is both a professor at the University of Miami and the director of the Bimini Biological Field Station, one of the foremost shark research facilities in the world.

Concern about both the victims and the close proximity of the attacks have led to a great amount of speculation surrounding each shark's motivations. Gruber said the answer is much simpler than most believe.

"This is a random occurrence," he said. "There are no more sharks, sun spots didn't do it, the hurricanes didn't do it and global warming didn't do it, this is just a fact of a natural animal in its natural environment."

He applies this same notion to the questions posed about the proximity of the two attacks, which took place approximately 80 miles apart. "We simply do not have the tools to make that kind of prediction, the statistics are not helpful." Gruber noted.

There is a lack of information among the general public about hark attacks, according to Gruber. Only certain (shark) species would actually consider a human being as legitimate prey," he said. "Most shark attacks are a bump or perhaps an exploratory bite and then they're gone."

The species in question in the two recent attacks is the bull shark, which makes its home in salt water, lakes, rivers and hard against the shore.  "They encounter humans from time to time and they're not afraid" Gruber noted.

To watch Meier's full interview with Gruber, click on the video link above. MSNBC Live with Amy Robach and Randy Meier can be seen weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon.

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