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Sharks in North Alabama? Apparently so.

(Video Above: WHNT’s coverage of the shark found in the Tennessee River)

It’s not a scene from Jaws, but it’s still terrifying to see a shark in a North Alabama river like one family did this week. The shark was found in the Tennessee River at Talucah Landing in Morgan County, just 23 miles south of Huntsville.

The shark sighting was reported to Morgan County’s district Wildlife Conservation Office. Officer Jay Lowrey identified the shark, even after the department’s initial skepticism of the incident.

Lowrey found that the shark had been bleeding, leading him and other area officials to believe that this was someone’s way of scaring local citizens.

“This is a prank; [this is] someone’s maybe not-so-elaborate hoax that they’re working on.” Lowrey said.

Thom Demas, Curator of Fishes at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, thought that the three foot shark could be identified as a spiny dogfish shark.

According to Demas, this is the first time a spiny dogfish shark has been found in a freshwater area. But, this is not the first time a shark hoax has made its way to North Alabama waters.  In July 2012, in what officials believed was a hoax a shark was found on the banks of Lake Guntersville. The 2012 shark sighting and the most recent occurrence in the Tennessee River are most likely the result of someone killing a shark and dumping it into the water.

Demas said the river is still completely safe to swim in and individuals should not be concerned.

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