Stunning video of the South African coastline was recently filmed with an aerial drone, and the footage reveals a unique and often unseen perspective on the region’s apex predator, the great white shark.
Photographer Eric Cheng released the video, which was taken in the area surrounding Cape Town, according to Shark Attack News. Utilizing an aerial drone, he was able to capture beautiful images of the landscape and local wildlife. Amid breathtaking shots of Buiker Island, Table Mountain, and the Cape Point kelp beds, Cheng managed to photograph Seal Island and the great white sharks that call it home.
Early in the video, sharptooth houndsharks, also known as spotted gully sharks, wind their way through the surf, dangerously near the shore as waves crash over them. Filmed near Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park, the gully sharks appear unperturbed by the surf, though they quickly move away after a fur seal approaches.
Cheng then reveals footage of a cage diving expedition at Seal Island, a notorious hotspot for great white sharks. Drawn to the area by the large seal population based there, the great whites are a popular tourist attraction. Baited to the boat by professional handlers, a white shark attempts to strike at a decoy seal, only to have it moved away at the last second. The great white throws itself out of the water, trying to catch the bait, as a cage containing a pair of divers hangs off the side of the boat.
In August, a cage diver near Seal Island managed to capture amazing footage of a great white as The Inquisitr noted. Chasing a piece of bait, the white shark sank its teeth into the cage, wrenching a steel bar and leaving it bent. Eye to eye with the massive predator, Valerio Mengoli was able to record intense images of the shark from just a few feet away.
This amazing photo of a female great white shark was taken recently in South Africa pic.twitter.com/Ej3dh6ZJSh
— Science WTF (@ScienceWTF) October 15, 2014
Mengoli’s photo taken at Seal Island went viral this summer, igniting a controversy over the practice of cage diving. Despite concerns that white sharks could be harmed, Dr. Greg Skomal, a biologist who studies great whites, related to National Geographic that such a possibility was unlikely.
“These are remarkably tough animals,” he said. “I have seen them heavily scarred up by each other, with parts having been bitten off, and they have an amazing capacity to heal.”
Over the course of four minutes, Cheng’s footage reveals beautiful vistas of the South African coast, before the great white sharks appear near the three minute mark.
[Images: Go Pro.Com and Eric Cheng via Shark Attack News]