An Australian photographer has captured a stunning image of a great white shark, revealing an unusual close encounter with the massive predator.
Dave Riggs, a documentarian whose production company is based in Esperance, Australia, captured the unusual image of the great white while at the Neptune Islands, 70 kilometers from Port Lincoln in South Australia, according to ABC Goldfields. While another crew member took a photo at water level near the back of their boat, a large white shark breached the surface, investigating the humans’ actions.
“Basically it’s a very curious great white shark,” Riggs noted. “She was around 15 foot long, and wasn’t being aggressive, believe it or not, but certainly looks like it in that image. But that’s how they assess their surroundings.”
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Riggs posted the stunning photo on his Facebook page, and noted that while most people would find the shark terrifying, it made no move to bother his crew.
“They’re basically very curious, any vessels that pull up in the location, the sharks will come and have a look,” he said. “I just felt obliged to post it I guess, because it’s real… it’s not being aggressive, it was not attempting to kill anyone, it was just very curious.”
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As Grind TV notes, Riggs’ description of the image on Facebook implored those who viewed it to look beyond their perception of white sharks as frightening animals, noting that they need to be protected from a variety of threats.
“This is how a great white ‘sniffs’.. it looks frightening but this.. it really is.. the last dinosaur.. WE MUST PROTECT this magnificent creature!!!!”
Last year, an image of a great white taken by cage diver Amanda Brewer went viral online. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the stunning photo was taken as the shark breached the surface of the ocean off South Africa, and took the internet by storm. Brewer, a New Jersey grade-school teacher, attributed the image of the great white to pure luck on her part.
Though some have questioned whether white sharks are being trained to approach people through repeated interactions with cage divers, Riggs says he is determined to change the general perception of great whites, in which they are characterized as overly aggressive predators.
“It’s like any top-of-the-line, apex predator,” he said. “You grab a cat by the tail and give it a pull and see what happens… all animals are aggressive in their own way, and great whites just happen to have very sharp, pointy teeth.”
[Photo by Dave Riggs via Grind TV]