FACT CHECK: Were Over A Dozen Bull Sharks Accidentally Dumped in The Ouachita River?
An image shared on Facebook claims a highway accident resulted in over a dozen bull sharks being dumped in the Ouachita River in Arkansas.
The incident described in the post has not occurred. The claim originated on a website that publishes Arkansas-related satire stories.
The March 25 Facebook post shows a screen grab of Google search results for “bull shark in hot springs arkansas.” The post has been shared over 15,000 times at the time of publication.
“Highway Accident Leads to Over a Dozen Bull Sharks Being Dumped in Ouachita River,” reads the top search result in the image. “Hot Springs, AR – An early morning accident on Airport Road led to the accidental release of over a dozen Bull Sharks into the Ouachita River, one being 15ft in length.”
However, local media outlets such as The Sentinel-Record, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, KATV ABC 7 and KARK 4 News have not reported about the incident. They almost certainly would have if such a thing had actually occurred. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Shark Swimming Down Flooded Highway In Louisiana During Hurricane Laura)
The article shown in the Google search results was published Feb. 25 by Spa City Chronicle under the website’s “Fake News” section. Spa City Chronicle publishes satire stories “centered around central Arkansas,” according to its “About” page.
While the story is not real, bull sharks can survive in fresh water for long periods of time and, according to the National Wildlife Federation, have been recorded in the Mississippi and Amazon Rivers. They are commonly found in “marine, estuarine environments close to shore,” the Florida Museum website states.