by Emma Clarke
CHIHUAHUAS Christopher and Romero came close to being shark bait.
The pups were out for a walk and paddle in the shallows with Kristine Fritz and her daughter at Colleges Crossing on Monday when a three-metre Bull Shark 'hunted them'.
Ms Fritz said she first knew about the shark when she saw a fin emerge.
"Within three minutes of the dogs standing beside the water, I saw a fin," she said.
"I yelled out 'there's a shark, get a photo'."
Ms Fritz said she was aware sharks were known to frequent the area and had been warned of the dangers.
Experts regard bull sharks as third on the list of the most dangerous sharks globally in relation to attacks on humans.
They are aggressive and prefer murky and shallow waters.
It's not the first time they've been identified in waterways around Ipswich, with the council resorting to putting up signs to warn the public in certain areas.
"We were taking the older dog and two pups for a walk just above the bridge at Colleges Crossing and we met a lady who was fishing and she said we would be better off down further in the clearer water where it was shallower. But she said to watch out because the dogs would be good fish bait," she said.
"I have heard stories before about there being bull sharks there and have been made quite aware not to go swimming in the area.
"We were socialising them, getting them used to being outside and letting them go for a swim. We had them on the leash and letting them run in and out of the water.
"The pups were only wetting their feet, we thought it was not an issue as they were not in the deep water. It was fascinating, it really took us by surprise."
She said the shark's behaviour was particularly concerning.
"It just came out of nowhere and from the water's edge, it would have only been three metres away," she said.
"Our impression was that it recognised the dogs were there and they had been in the water and they were hunting it. I could not believe I saw a fin.
"It was very aggressive the way it was swimming, it was moving very quickly.
"The shark was so quiet and so subtle, it came into the water quickly and it was watching the pups.
"It was like it was hunting them and thought, this is chewable.
"The dogs were aware it was there, they were clearly looking at it. It came right up close and it was clearly moving fast."
Ms Fritz said she would find a safer place to let the dogs play.
"What frightens me is it could have been a mother with a toddler or a baby," she said.
We will not be taking them back there again. It was so sneaky."