DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis has reason to be proud of Colorado: Not only is it a great place to ski and snowboard, but no state has done a better job of keeping people safe from shark attacks.
The Democratic governor took to social media Monday to declare that Colorado has never suffered a shark attack, a distinction shared by 21 other landlocked states as well as New Hampshire, according to an accompanying chart.
“Colorado is tied for state with the least shark attacks!” Mr. Polis tweeted.
His decision to plug the state’s strong history on deflecting the ocean predators was followed by a tourism pitch from Polis press secretary Conor Cahill contrasting the Centennial State’s advantages with those of more shark-risky states.
“With the lowest obesity rate in the country, Coloradans are known for being healthy and lean and sharks know they won’t get much of a meal here,” said Mr. Cahill in a statement to The Denver Post. “Coloradans and others from across the world love exploring our mountains, rivers, lakes and plains while safely avoiding the swarms of dangerous sharks in other, less attractive destinations like Texas, California and Florida.”
The governor could also be floating a potential campaign theme ahead of his 2022 reelection bid in what is expected to be a choppy election cycle for Democrats.
Then again, this isn’t the first time Mr. Polis has boasted about Colorado’s unblemished record on keeping sharks at bay.
“Colorado is one of the safest states from shark attacks,” Mr. Polis said in an Oct. 4, 2020, post on Facebook. “There has never been a shark attack in Colorado in the entire history [of] our state.”
Lest fact-checkers accuse him of making claims without evidence, Mr. Polis linked to a Florida Museum of Natural History chart on confirmed unprovoked shark attacks since 1837 showing that Colorado has no history of such predatory behavior.
The same cannot be said for Florida, which leads the nation with 868 shark attacks, according to the museum.
As everyone knows, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a Republican, a sign that the GOP may be vulnerable on the shark-security issue.
Several puzzled commenters noted that the chart posted by Mr. Polis on Twitter indicated that Kentucky, Missouri and New Mexico have each been victimized by one shark attack despite having no exposure to the ocean, but the governor’s information appears to be spot-on.
In Missouri, Kathi Peters and her husband were performing with six nurse sharks at the St. Louis Boat and Sports Show in 1996 when she was bitten on the hand by a shark named Bob, according to the Rolla Daily News.
In New Mexico, Ken Pitts, a senior aquarist at the Albuquerque Aquarium, was nipped on the left arm by a sand shark as he fed fish in 2005, as reported by the Albuquerque Journal.
The Shark Attack Data website said that Kentucky has seen one provoked shark attack, although no details were given.