Shark attacks 7-year-old swimming in Lousiana lake

Shark attacks 7-year-old swimming in Lousiana lake

NEW ORLEANS (CNN) - Swimmers are on high alert after a 7-year-old swimming in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain was possibly bitten by a shark,

WWL-TV reports.

Doctors who treated the boy's wounds which were on his heel and big toe later said he had been bitten by a shark. After viewing photos of the wounds, University of New Orleans shark expert Mitchell Chevalier agreed.

Just two days after the attack, a local caught a 3-foot shark near the attack.

Many boaters are unaware there are sharks in Lake Pontchartrain, but at certain times of the year, there are plenty, according to Chevalier, who tags sharks for UNO and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That includes bull sharks, which are among the world's man-eaters.

Lake Pontchartrain covers roughly 630 square miles and is popular with swimmers, boaters and fishermen.

"We've been swimming in the lake forever," she said. "You don't think something like that will happen. That was the last thought that crossed my mind," the child's mother said.

Shark expert Mitchell Chevaliar says sharks' presence in Lake Pontchartrain is common knowledge among frequent users.

He helps UNO and NOAA track the sharks for research and says they're here, especially during the summer because the water is just right.

He says the boy's wound is from a bull shark, known for attacks on humans and common in brackish waters.