ISLIP, N.Y. — Officials have confirmed one of two children bitten in the leg off New York’s Fire Island was bitten by a shark, but said on Thursday that both bites were likely the result of shark attacks.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation says a tooth fragment removed from a 13-year-old boy’s leg is consistent with a shark’s tooth, but it could not determine what species of shark due to the tooth’s condition.
Officials could not confirm Thursday if the fish that bit a 12-year-old girl a few minutes before the boy at Sailors Haven beach was also a shark.
“We speculate that they were both shark bites,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Director Jim Gilmore said.
Gilmore added that because the attacks on Wednesday happened minutes and miles apart, and the sharks were likely small and could not swim very far that fast, the children were likely attacked by different sharks.
The bites prompted officials to temporarily close the beaches.
The children are expected to fully recover.
The state Parks Department is extending lifeguard coverage until 8 p.m. Friday, and drones will be deployed to monitor the waters.
Two sharks were caught off Fire Island beaches after the attacks, and both have been released back into the water, officials said.
PIX11’s Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.