Sharks devoured a juvenile humpback whale that found itself stranded on Australia’s Broulee Beach, and one family among the onlookers managed to capture stunning video of the predators as they fed.
Matthew Stephens and his family joined a crowd who stood just feet away from the young humpback whale, after it was found stranded among the rocks at Broulee Beach on Wednesday. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the whale had suffered an injury to its fin and beached itself. Though rescuers prepared to free it, the whale washed out to sea, where it was attacked and killed by a large shark.
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Stephens, who has visited the beach with his family since the 1980s, said that onlookers struggled to make out the event from shore.
“You could only really see the whale a little bit and also you could see the shark’s fin,” he recalled.
Using a waterproof camera he received for Christmas, Stephens spent nearly two hours filming as the shark was joined by others of its kind to devour the whale carcass, according to the ABC.
“I ran home and grabbed an old fishing rod, that’s never really caught many fish in its life, and attached it to the fishing rod,” he said.
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Four beaches near South Broulee remained closed to swimmers after the injured whale attracted the sharks’ attention, though one brave surfer entered the ocean to tie a rope around the carcass Wednesday night. His effort allowed local fishermen to tow the dead whale out to sea. According to the Bay Post, the surfer, who wished to remain anonymous, timed his action between the sharks’ feeding sessions.
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The fishermen hoped that the sharks would follow the carcass, vacating the area and lowering the risk to beachgoers. According to Stephens, however, there is little chance that he and his family will be entering the water anytime soon.
“I don’t think we’ll be going in today put it that way. There was a bit of a slick of oil starting to drift down the coast and no doubt that’s going to attract more sharks over the coming days,” he noted.
A minute long clip of Stephens’ video, which depicts a large shark biting into the whale’s submerged carcass as its tail breaks the surface just feet from the crowd, can be viewed at the ABC.
[Image: Matthew Stephens/ ABC News Canberra]