Great white shark choked by sea lion

Jul 17, 2014
Illustration: a great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials say

A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials said Thursday.

The four-metre (13-foot) white pointer was filmed thrashing around just off Coronation Beach, 430 kilometres (270 miles) north of Perth, and was later found on the sand.

The Western Australia Department of Fisheries said it had no visible signs of injury or disease, but had a large lodged in its throat.

"This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behaviour in shallow waters off Coronation Beach," said research scientist Rory McAuley in a statement.

"It is possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.

"Such a large object may have damaged the shark's internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death," he added.

"Alternatively, the shark may have accidentally become stranded in his attempts to get rid of the obstruction."

Brad Tapper filmed the shark as it struggled in and posted the clip on YouTube.

Tapper, who had been at the with his children, said a dog walker first noticed the shark when his pet refused to go in the water.

"When we spotted it, it was about 50 metres off the shore. We thought it was a diver or something," he told the West Australian newspaper.

"It was kind of surreal, you're watching it and you don't realise how rare it is at the time until you get home and have a look at the footage."

After it beached itself, some onlookers attempted to drag the shark out to sea using a tow rope, but the animal returned to shore soon after.

"We went to look at it and got within three or four metres of it but it started kicking and thrashing around again so we thought it was time to leave," Tapper said.

Explore further: Shark bites swimmer on California beach

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Whale shark fringe migration

Jul 16, 2014

At the fringe of the whale shark range, the volcanic Azore islands may play an increasing role for the north Atlantic population as sea surface temperatures rise, according to a study published July 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

Thousands rally against shark cull in Australia

Feb 01, 2014

Thousands of people rallied across Australia Saturday against a controversial shark culling policy designed to prevent attacks, saying killing the marine animals was the not the answer.

Australia shark cull could snare more than 900

Jun 10, 2014

Australia's controversial shark cull could snare more than 900 animals over the next three years, a government review found, angering critics who said Tuesday most were caught needlessly.

Recommended for you

Invasive lionfish likely safe to eat after all

3 hours ago

Scientists have learned that recent fears of invasive lionfish causing fish poisoning may be unfounded. If so, current efforts to control lionfish by fishing derbies and targeted fisheries may remain the ...

Brother of Hibiscus is found alive and well on Maui

20 hours ago

Most people are familiar with Hibiscus flowers- they are an iconic symbol of tropical resorts worldwide where they are commonly planted in the landscape. Some, like Hawaii's State Flower- Hibiscus brackenridgei- are en ...

Boat noise impacts development and survival of sea hares

22 hours ago

While previous studies have shown that marine noise can affect animal movement and communication, with unknown ecological consequences, scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and the École Pratique des Hautes ...

User comments : 0