Are Bull Sharks Dangerous?

Sharks are among the most feared creatures on the planet.

Even though most humans will go their entire lives without encountering a shark in the water, they are still something that many people have phobias of.

Are Bull Sharks Dangerous?

This is primarily down to the narrative that is sold about sharks being dangerous. 

When discussing the potential danger of sharks, it is important to recognize that there are lots of different species of shark.

Among these species of shark there are some that are completely harmless, but there are also some that are extremely dangerous. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking a closer look at bull sharks in order to identify if they are dangerous.

So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

What Are Bull Sharks?

First things first, let’s take a look at what bull sharks are.

Bull sharks are a species of shark that are referred to by a couple of different names depending on where in the world you live.

To most of the Western world, bull sharks are known as bull sharks.

But in Africa, they are known as the Zambezi shark, and in Nicaragua, they are known as the Lake Nicaragua shark.

The bull shark is a type of requiem shark that mainly lives in warm shallow waters.

Due to this, you will often find bull sharks in rivers and close to the coast of mainland, rather than out at sea.

Due to their close proximity to the coasts, bull sharks are one of the sharks that humans are most likely to come into contact with.

This is because bull sharks actively hunt in water where humans often swim. This is also partly because bull sharks are extremely aggressive.

Bull sharks are easily recognizable because they have a very stout appearance.

While many sharks tend to be long and slim-built, bull sharks tend to be rather chunky due to their high width to length ratio.

With darker top halves of their body, and lighter bottom halves, they have the stereotypical shark coloring. But are they dangerous? Let’s take a look.

Are Bull Sharks Dangerous?

In one word, yes, bull sharks are dangerous.

In a lot of cases, bull sharks are considered to be the most dangerous species of shark on the planet, especially if you consider the danger of bull sharks in relation to humans. 

As we have mentioned, bull sharks tend to actively hunt in areas where humans often swim.

In areas with beaches, it is common for humans to swim in the water just off the coast.

Likewise, in areas where there isn’t immediate access to beaches, it is common for people to swim in rivers.

So, there is no surprise that bull sharks pose a threat to humans in these waters. 

Shark attacks are rare. But of the percentage of shark attacks that do occur, bull sharks make up a significant proportion.

Bull sharks are a very aggressive species of shark, and they actively hunt for their prey.

So, yes, bull sharks are dangerous, and it is perfectly normal to have a fear of this species of shark. 

Why Is The Bull Shark Aggressive?

Are Bull Sharks Dangerous?

So, bull sharks are one of the most aggressive types of sharks on the planet.

But why is this? Well, there are a number of reasons behind this, so let’s take a look. 

The main reason why bull sharks are aggressive is simply because they have to be in order to survive.

Unlike some species of sharks, bull sharks are not filter feeders, instead they actively hunt prey to survive. 

Hunting requires aggression, especially for sharks like bull sharks as bull sharks are actually cannibalistic.

Bull sharks have been known to hunt smaller species of sharks, and baby sharks too, in order to survive.

So aggression is essential in order for bull sharks to survive to adulthood.

As aggression is needed for bull sharks to survive into adulthood, this aggression tends to stick with bull sharks once they become adults.

This is why they might attack humans in the process of hunting for prey.

How Often Do Bull Sharks Attack?

As we have said, shark attacks are rare. However, bull sharks are actually one of the species of sharks that have racked up a high number of attacks. 

There is a comprehensive list of shark attacks kept by the Museum of Florida that accounts for shark attacks between 1580 and present.

While this list isn’t likely to be completely accurate, it does give us a good idea of how many shark attacks bull sharks have been involved in. 

According to these statistics, bull sharks have been involved in around 121 attacks on humans between 1580 and the present day.

Considering the length of time that this spans, this number does seem low.

But it is actually the third-highest number on the list with only tiger sharks and great white sharks completing more attacks.

However, in relation to time, this number is still rather low. 

Which Is More Dangerous: Great White Or Bull Shark?

It is clear from this information that bull sharks are dangerous. But are they more dangerous than great white sharks?

Bull sharks are considered by many to be the most dangerous shark on the planet, even though they complete fewer attacks than great white sharks.

This is mainly due to the areas where these sharks reside. Great white sharks complete more attacks, but they reside further out at sea.

Whereas, bull sharks tend to reside near the coast, where humans often swim. This is why many people consider the bull shark to be more dangerous than the great white. 


In short, yes, bull sharks are dangerous. This species of shark is very aggressive, and it also tends to hunt in waters where humans often go swimming, so it does pose a real threat to humans.

However, shark attacks are very rare, so despite this, the chances of you getting attacked by a bull shark while swimming is very low. 

Thank you for reading!

Mikayla Adams

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