Marine biologists in Washington State believe an enormous great white shark is likely the culprit behind a dead seal, whose carcass was found washed up on a local beach. An alarm has been sounded for swimmers.
Officials in Washington State sounded the alarm after a confirmation of a white shark attack last week. Law enforcement and marine biologists fear an enormous white shark measuring some 18 feet in length is behind a fatal seal mauling. The horrific discovery was made by a local and residents are on guard, this according to a Peninsula Daily News report.
Researchers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that a large marine mammal is likely behind the death of a harbor seal that was found by a beachgoer last week. The dead female had a large chunk of her body missing, mostly of her hind quarters.
Scientists charged with the post-mortem of the dead seal believe it was attacked by a great white shark. And judging from the characteristic bite marks and the large wound, the storied ocean predator likely attacked the seal.
Dead seal found on beach at Ocean Shores killed by 18-foot great white shark, state says http://t.co/5HWL33hZnG pic.twitter.com/1yUG2mW8Gn— #Q13FOX News (@Q13FOX) February 25, 2015
Although sharks of this species are known to travel known routes and thrive in various ocean waters around the world, they are not common in Ocean Shores where the seal’s body was found. However, the evidence of a potentially man-eating shark lurking the coast is unsettling. Craig Bartlett, a spokesperson with the state department weighed in.
“Usually they’re chasing schools of tuna and other prey often 40 miles off shore. They travel great distances in that pursuit, but the basic habitat isn’t close to shore.”
Bartlett says that great whites don’t typically swim close to beach shores where humans swim for recreation. However, this particular one must have gotten caught in a strong warm current, which took it close to its chief prey known to feed on smelt in the area.
Residents, while warned to be vigilant when swimming, shouldn’t be overly-concerned about the recent shark attack. According to records, there have only been two great white shark attacks in the state of Washington. The last one occurred over a century ago.
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