It’s the case of the great white shark that bit off more than it could chew – choking to death on a huge sea lion it tried to swallow.
Extraordinary video shots and photographs show the feared monster thrashing about close to Coronation Beach, north of the West Australian town of Geraldton, as it apparently tried to dislodge its latest food.
When the 4m shark eventually died and was brought ashore Fisheries Department inspectors were amazed to find the sea lion stuck in its throat.
The shark thrashing in the water attracted dozens of beachgoers.
The WAtoday website reported today that research scientist Dr Rory McAuley found that while the male shark had no visible signs of injury or disease, the large sea lion was found stuck inside its throat.
‘This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behaviour in shallow waters off Coronation Beach,’ he said.
‘It is possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.
‘Such a large object may have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death.’
Dr McAuley said it was also possible that the shark might have become stranded in its attempts to rid itself of the obstruction.’
Ms Tash Tapper, who shot footage of the shark while she was on the beach with her family, described the scene as ‘surreal’.
She told of watching the shark swim in close to the shore, back out and back in for almost two hours.
‘Too me, it seemed it was coming in to die,’ she told WAtoday.