Graphic photos have emerged of a great white shark which died off the coast of Japan after reportedly choking on a sea turtle.
The disturbing photos show the 4,500-pound creature covered in blood, while its prey still hangs in its mouth.
The huge shark was spotted by fishermen the day before it was found dead. They saw the turtle between its teeth at the time, but couldn’t help dislodge it from the apex predator’s jaws.
The photos were posted to a commercial fishers group on Facebook by Greg Vella, who wrote:
I was out commercial “ken ken” style fishing for tuna (Japan, Pacific Ocean side) when I heard chatter on the radio that there was a white shark swimming around with a big sea turtle in is [sic] mouth.
People started to joke about it, so I did not pay it any more attention. Then next day, it was found dead, near the bait receivers, tangled in some netting.
The captains I interviewed who saw the mighty shark the day before said it looked close to death, as it could not dislodge the giant turtle.
The commercial guys were bummed, as white sharks do not bother their commercial fishing, and most certainly do bother the things that eat our catch.
The shark weighed 4,500 pounds.
Nature is brutal.
Earlier this year, scientists attached a camera to the fin of a great white shark so they could study its hunting patterns more closely.
Oliver Jewell of Murdoch University, Australia, and his colleagues managed to entice eight great white sharks to their boat using chum and a seal decoy. While doing this, they attached cameras to the sharks’ fins in order to study how they hunt Cape fur seals off the coast of South Africa.
You can watch the footage here:
The clever cameras stayed on the sharks’s fin for a few hours before popping themselves off and floating to the surface, where the researchers collected them and the data they’d recorded.
The footage revealed the great whites utilising kelp forests to hunt, something they previously thought sharks couldn’t do as they were too big.
The video also revealed the seals’ evasion techniques, trying to avoid the sharks altogether, or blowing bubbles in their faces so the sharks couldn’t see.
The 28 hours of footage didn’t show the sharks actually capturing any seals however, supporting the theory that kelp forests are used as refuge over hunting grounds.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.