Here's how the only known shark attack in Missouri happened

Nurse shark
Photo credit (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Earlier this year, people were surprised to learn about the multiple instances of sharks that likely swam to St. Louis all the way up the Mississippi River. Now, we've learned about a shark attack in the area.

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It started when the Colorado Gov. Jared Polis touted the state's clean record of zero shark attacks (seems obvious for a land-locked state). But looking into the records kept by Shark Attack File of every known shark attack in the world – both Missouri and Illinois are on the list.

First, the case in Illinois happened in Lake Michigan in 1955. The story goes that a young boy named George Lawson was attacked by a bull shark near the very southern tip of the massive lake. A man pulled Lawson aboard his boat, but was missing "most of his right leg." Some say he died, others say a doctor was able to save his life.

The tale was investigated by WBEZ back in 2016 with no confirmation it actually happened. Shark Attack File says "if" it indeed happened, it could have been a bull shark because they are able to survive in fresh water.

The attack in St. Louis is confirmed by news reports. It happened on February 19, 1996 at the St. Louis Boat and Sports Show.

Kathi Peters and her husband were performing in a 9,000-gallon tank containing six nurse sharks at the annual convention when she was bitten. A newspaper report says she inadvertently placed her hand at the bottom of the tank and a nurse shark named Bob must have though it was a fish.

She sustained five puncture marks on both sides of her hand.

"Nurse sharks have a bad reputation for being aggressive when they're usually very nice," Peters said. "I don't want people to get the wrong idea."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Getty Images)