A group of recreational divers off the Australian coast managed to film several great white and tiger sharks, as the predators feasted upon the remains of a dead sperm whale.
The footage was captured off the north coast of New South Wales on Thursday, according to the Daily Mail. Brett Vercoe and his wife were on a diving trip when they observed the whale carcass, quickly noticing that it was surrounded by five different sharks.
“In a short period, we saw a number of sharks circling around [the whale],” Vercoe recalled. “After 10 or 15 minutes it was quite obvious there were at least five sharks – three white pointers, up to about 4.5 meters in length, and two tigers, the biggest being about 4.2 [meters long].”
The whale was floating between five and 10 kilometers from Coffs Harbor, just 500 meters from a beach, much closer to shore than would normally be expected. According to the ABC, the whales are usually found roughly 40 kilometers from the coast.
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The Coffs Harbor Water Police were dispatched to monitor the situation, and managed to watch the white and tiger sharks from just a few feet away as they fed. In the footage, the white sharks can even be seen turning upside down in an effort to get a better bite of the whale.
“I’ve been in this job for a long time and, while I’ve seen them feeding before, it’s probably the closest that I’ve been to sharks that are actually feeding like that,” Sergeant Don Stewart noted.
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Australian Museum naturalist Martyn Robinson observed that the sharks could have detected the whale’s scent from a great distance, noting their ability to detect potential prey from miles away. The whale appeared to have been deceased for over a week, judging by its state of decomposition, and its remains later washed ashore.
Last month, a white shark was filmed by a group of fishermen feeding on a whale off the coast of New York. As the Inquisitr previously reported, white sharks have been documented moving through the region on their way towards Cape Cod, where the species congregates in summer months.
Though the whale carcass had nearly been stripped bare by the great white and tiger sharks before it washed ashore, officials from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coffs Harbor City Council were nevertheless working to bury it.
[Image: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service via the Daily Mail]