Several seals and other marine animals have washed ashore along Oregonian beaches, and researchers assert it is likely that a massive great white shark was responsible for their deaths, killing them with a single bite.
Four animals (two seals, a sea lion, and a dolphin) have all been discovered maimed to death along the Pacific Coast off Seaside, Oregon, including on Del Rey Beach. The dead sea creatures exhibited dramatic bite wounds, and marine life experts have stated that the most likely predator to be responsible is none other than a large great white shark.
Great White Shark Breaching. Awesome. pic.twitter.com/bvxw8be4tz
— Earth Pics (@earthepix) September 11, 2015
On Thursday, after the fourth animal was confirmed to have been killed by a shark bite, the Northern Oregon/Southern Washington Marine Mammal Stranding Network issued a warning to swimmers and beachgoers in the region, according to Oregon Live. While it is not an absolute certainty that a great white shark was responsible for the damage, the bite marks on each animal were 18 inches across. The only sharks inhabiting that stretch of coastline that are capable of inflicting such a wound are great whites and broadnose sevengill sharks, as the Oregon Coast Beach Connection points out.
— George T. Probst (@GeorgeProbst) September 10, 2015
The two harbor seals, steller sea lion and seven-foot striped dolphin were all subjected to necropsies in order to determine the circumstances surrounding their death. According to Tiffany Boothe, an administrative assistant at Seaside Aquarium, all of the animals were alive when the shark struck them.
While great white sharks are commonly known to feed on seals and sea lions, they have also been observed attacking dolphins, though such incidents are less often photographed. Early this year, however, a massive great white shark off the Australian coast inflicted fatal wounds upon several dolphins, forcing the closure of local beaches for over a week.
— Wide World Travel (@WIDEWORLDTRAV3L) August 31, 2015
While shark incidents are common in other parts of the world, they happen infrequently so far north along the Pacific coast. Earlier this year, another great white shark made headlines when it approached shore and preyed upon a number of seals. Prior to that incident, local media outlets report that it has been between four and five years since a great white shark was reported in their waters.