KEY POINTS

  • A drone spotted a great white shark swimming beneath surfers
  • A local agency released an urgent safety warning due to the presence of the shark in the area
  • A wildlife photographer believes the shark was just patrolling the area

A drone flying over a beach in South Africa captured a video of a great white shark swimming underneath surfers. According to a wildlife photographer, the shark was most likely patrolling the area.

The amazing encounter was captured by Zachary Berman, a 14-year-old boy who started flying drones due to the lockdown measures imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video was taken over Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape Province. As a group of surfers waddled in the sea waiting for waves, a big great white shark can be seen swimming below them. Throughout the clip, the shark steadily swam underneath the surfers.

Following the release of the video, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) issued an urgent safety warning for beachgoers.

“NSRI is appealing to bathers, paddlers, body borders and surfers to be cautious along the Southern Cape coastline and the Eastern Cape coastline, in particular around the coastline of Plettenberg Bay and between Mossel Bay and Jeffreys Bay, due to a high number of reported white shark sightings and white shark close encounters,” the agency said in a statement.

The NSRI noted that sharks often venture close to the shoreline during this time of the year due to the aggregation of natural prey such as fish and seals in the area.

According to Chris Fallows, a wildlife photographer who has been studying sharks since 1989, the great white shark spotted in the video was most likely patrolling the area. He noted that it did not pose a threat to surfers and other beachgoers since it was not interested in humans.

Fallows pointed out that in the video, one of the beachgoers paddled frantically away from the shark. Despite this, the frantic nature of the movements did not trigger a response from the shark.

“Sharks routinely patrol areas, but that doesn't necessarily mean attacking,” he explained, according to Newsweek. “These animals are super predators, but they're highly selective in terms of what they do attack. I think that's just a fantastic example of how sharks should not have the reputation they do have. Yes, they're super predators, but they're very aware of their surroundings.”

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Great White Shark Pixabay
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