GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The blank stare and a body that's shaped like a missile. These are some of the reasons why sharks can cause a lot of fear. But Gus Stout, senior aquarist at the Greensboro Science Center's SciQuarium, says people shouldn't worry.
"The vast majority of sharks are not aggressive toward humans. They are not looking at us as a prey item,” Stout said.
At the SciQuarium, divers work in a tank while blacknose, blacktip and sand bar sharks swim around them. Stout adds that most human-shark encounters are a result of mistaken identity.
"Even the larger sharks, they get confused sometimes. They think a human is an injured fish or sea turtle or seal something like that.”
SciQuarium educator Alison Manka says about six deaths a year can be linked to shark bites. A death rate that's much lower than cows.
"On average in the United States, about 220 people are killed by cows,” said Manka.
Sandra Belz was visiting the Greensboro Science Center's SciQuarium with her daughter Loren. She now feels much better and safer about her family's future trip to the beach.
"When you have little ones they don’t understand. So this is nice to have someone help that knows the facts and get rid of some of their fear as well,” Belz said.