News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.
A RARE sighting of a great white shark racing to escape a three ton elephant seal has been caught on camera by a schoolboy in South Africa.
The video shows the mighty Southern elephant seal hot on the the heels of the smaller predator as it scrambles to get away.
The video is said to have been filmed in seaside town Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, by 14-year-old Luka Oosthuizien.
It was posted online by the Orca Foundation with the caption: “Have you ever seen a great white shark getting chased by an elephant seal? Another exciting day in Robberg.”
It shows the fearsome shark prowling close to the shore, before suddenly a larger beast rises from the deep and makes a lunge towards it.
Great white sharks are the only known predator of elephant seals, and sometimes take pups as prey.
Clashes with adults are rare, as their massive bulk – up to four tons for males – means they can inflict serious injury or death.
Great white sharks are among the most fearsome predators in the ocean. But elephant seals can intimidate them with their massive size.
Southern elephant seals mostly live on remote islands around the Antarctic, but local tour company Ocean Adventures says one large male has been spotted in Plettenberg every year since 2011.
According to their website: “In 2012 and 2014, he was observed killing and feeding on Cape fur seal pups, an extraordinary behaviour that had never been documented for Southern elephant seals before.”
In 2017 a juvenile elephant seal was found dead on a beach in California with bite marks suggesting it was killed by a great white.
Such attacks are unusual because big bull elephant seals can be formidable foes for sharks, said biologist Brian Hatfield of the US Geological Service.
Christine Heinrichs, of campaign group Friends Of The Elephant Seal, said: “Younger seals, juveniles weighing 1,000 to 2,000 lbs are usually considered more desirable prey, for exactly that reason.
“A big bull can turn around and bite his attacker. An injured shark is effectively a dead shark.”
Rangers fans snap up £37 flights to Spain so they can watch Old Firm clash in pub
Our journalists strive for accuracy but on occasion we make mistakes. For further details of our complaints policy and to make a complaint please click here.
Great white shark, Seals, Elephant seals
World news – GB – Great white shark CHASED away by a 3-ton elephant seal in rare footage