Aussie fisherman's 'surprise' find in guts of bull shark

An Aussie fisherman in the Top End has shared a baffling discovery he made inside the guts of a small bull shark he caught for bait.

After reeling in the animal from a wharf in the Northern Territory, he noticed something strange as he was cutting the shark into pieces.

In a video posted online, he explained what he found, holding what he refers to as a "pig's trotter" up to the camera. "We just caught this f***ing bull shark ... That is a pig's trotter. "There's another one," he says after rifling through the shark's stomach.

The fisherman pictured with the bull shark.
The fisherman found several pig's trotters in the shark's insides. Source: TikTok/nt_sharkwranglers

"Got the hair, there's the knuckle ... Oh another one. This bull shark has been eating pigs ... I don't know where he got it."

Sharing the clip on TikTok where it has been watched more than 51,000 times, he wrote: "So caught this small bull shark off the wharf to use as bait and boy did we get a surprise when we had a look inside its stomach!"

One viewer suggested the unlucky pig was caught in the shallows while the fisherman theorised that the bull shark might've enjoyed the sloppy seconds from a crocodile's lunch.

"Would have gotten the wild pigs up a small river or something," the person commented on TikTok. "Yeah we reckon he’s come across the left overs after a croc thrashed one and ripped it apart," the fisherman replied.

The Northern Territory, like much of the country, does have a problem with large feral pigs populations. Feral pigs are one of Australia's most serious pests.

"It is believed that there are between 13 million and 23 million feral pigs spread across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Northern Australia," according to the NT government. "Feral pigs need water daily, so they are usually found close to water," the territory government says on its website.

Earlier this year, researchers at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory published research that indicated crocodiles in the region had changed their diet from fish and marine life to wild pigs and buffalo in recent years, a shift they believe was linked to a significant boost in crocodile numbers.

Viewers hit out at shark catch: 'Should be illegal'

A number of comments on the TikTok post took aim at the man catching the shark, merely for it to be used as bait.

"We need to make this illegal in Australia. This is just gross bs killing a young shark for bait," one person said.

"What a waste of a fish …. Killed for sport and not for consumption. Not very sporty or humane," another complained.

"What a waste," a third person agreed.

The man was left shocked by the pig remnants inside the shark's stomach (pictured here).
The man was left shocked by the pig remnants. But others took aim at him. Source: TikTok/nt_sharkwranglers

But the man behind the catch defended the practice saying it was one of the best forms of bait for bigger sharks and assuring others that "none of this shark will go to waste".

"[It is] completely legal to harvest and was killed as humanely and quickly as possibly," he said. "This will help us capture, help out and record much larger sharks for local fisheries. "Larger sharks such as tigers and hammerheads are really drawn to the scent, a lot more than other baits," he also explained.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted the owner of the account, NT Shark Wranglers, for comment.

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