DEC: Tooth in bite wound was from small shark

Local and state officials searched the waters off Long Island on Thursday just one day after two children were bitten in suspected shark attacks at two Fire Island beaches. The attacks happened within miles of one another and just minutes apart.

"It's a reflection of the fact that the water is a lot cleaner and healthier really than ever, which is a good thing," Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "But we want the public to just be aware when they go out in the water that there are dangers in the environment."

Town of Islip officials confirmed that fishermen caught at least two sharks about 50 yards west from where the kids were bitten but said it is highly unlikely that those sharks were involved in the attacks.

SkyFoxHD was over Fire Island where very few people were venturing across the shoreline. Lifeguards at Robert Moses State Park surveilled the shore. Some swimmers we spoke to were skeptical.

The Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed the tooth fragment removed from the boy's leg belonged to a sandbar tiger shark. 

In a phone interview, shark researcher Dr. Tobey Curtis of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the bite marks on the girl's leg are also consistent with a small shark.

"My guess is that there was probably some food—schools of natural prey like bunker or something close to the beach," Curtis said. "If a hand or foot is in the middle of a prey field, that's when an accident can happen. My guess is that's what happened—these sharks mistook a hand or foot for prey, unfortunately."

Experts said juvenile sharks commonly swim closer to the shore where more food is available.

But according to the International Shark Attack File, only 10 unprovoked shark attacks have been reported in New York since 1837.