A 16-year-old girl died after being mauled by a shark while swimming in a river in Perth, Western Australia.

The incident took place on Saturday when the victim, identified as Stella Berry, jumped into the Swan River to swim with a pod of dolphins.

Berry was jet skiing with friends when she spotted a pod of dolphins and decided to jump into the river, not knowing that a shark was also around. She was pulled out of the river with "critical injuries." The paramedics tried to save her, but she died at the scene, according to a statement from the local police.

The authorities are still unsure what kind of shark attacked the girl, but some local media reports have claimed it was a bull shark. Western Australia's fisheries minister Don Punch also said that it "was likely" a bull shark.

Bull sharks are an aggressive breed. They tend to dwell in shallow coastal waters and are easily provoked.

"Bull sharks can be very bold but it is also important to remember that these incidents are very, very rare events – (though) heart-breaking and traumatizing for everyone involved," Andrew Chin, a senior research fellow at James Cook University, told CNN.

Shark attacks in rivers are extremely rare. The last fatal shark attack in the river was recorded in 1923, when a 13-year-old boy was attacked by a bull shark.

Australia has been experiencing increased shark attacks over the last few years. At least 88 sharks have been sighted between Jurien Bay and Esperance this year. Experts have attributed the phenomenon to changes in the environment, such as rising sea temperatures and overfishing.

Recently, the authorities had to close one of the country's famous beaches for a brief period after sharks brutally attacked a dolphin off the coast of Sydney. The dolphin was mauled by at least one suspected bull shark. It was seen circling in the water with its tail injured before it beached off on the shore.

Bull shark
A bull shark. Image/Reuters