This week, Gulf State Park is celebrating all things shark


GULF SHORES, Alabama.WKRG) — It’s finally Shark Week and Gulf State Park officials said they’ve been looking forward to this week all year.

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Throughout the week, guests can participate in various shark-themed activities at Lake Shelby to learn more about the sharks native to the Gulf of Mexico.

Shark spotting is not as uncommon as many people think.

Our Sky 5 Drone even captured footage of sharks swimming in the waters off Orange Beach in May.


Gulf State Park officials now want to engage the community in reducing the stigma often associated with sharks.

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Hannah Russell, a naturalist at Gulf State Park, says she thinks the media and movies like Jaws create an innate fear of sharks in many people.

“They’re something to be a little bit afraid of. But I think that’s why they have such a bad name, because a lot of the movies and media and things like that portray them as man-eaters,” Russell said.

Russell said sharks are more likely to be seen in the summer on the Gulf Coast because they are naturally attracted to warmer waters, like other marine animals.

She said that while there is no guarantee that you won’t see sharks in the ocean, there are ways to avoid them.

“If you see someone fishing off the beach, probably just avoid swimming in that area,” Russell said. “We always say if people are fishing, about 100 yards on either side of them is a really good distance to keep.”

She said fishermen should make sure they don’t have any bait or catch in their pockets when they enter the water to cast a line.


Emily Rupp was visiting Orange Beach with her family when she saw the signs for Shark Week at Lake Shelby. She said she was very excited because she loves sharks and wants to learn more about them.

“I like learning about something that isn’t people, because they’re different from us. They’re different. They have their own personalities,” Rupp said.

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For more information about Shark Week at Gulf State Park, visit their website website.

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