By Mark McConville
A BRITISH tourist has captured the amazing moment a huge Great White shark breached the water in pursuit of a tasty treat.
Spectacular pictures and video show the 13-foot-long, 1700-pound predator leaping out of the water as it latches onto a decoy seal.
The shark shows off its huge mouth as it leaves the water before clamping its razor-sharp teeth onto its intended target.
The incredible images were taken in Kleinbaai, South Africa by Geographic Information System Officer Joseph Butler (23) from Swindon.
“We can see a male Great White breaching,” he said.
“In his jaws is the lure the crew use to bring them towards the boat, which is intended to be reeled out of the way before this exact scenario occurs.
“Contrary to what a lot of people think when they look at this, the animal is not hooked or captured in any way. He has just managed to clasp the other end of the rope between his teeth.
“Looking closely, you can see that the eyes have rolled back into the head, which is a normal reaction to protect the eye during prey capture.”
Joseph studied Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at university and wanted to show people the vulnerability of these great predators.
“What I love most about this kind of photography, is breaking down people’s preconceptions about nature,” he said.
“For instance, when people are often shocked that one would willingly get in the ocean with Great Whites, with or without safety equipment.
“It is frequently found as a foreign concept when I explain that the sharks were largely uninterested in us, and that they are a lot more vulnerable than first thought.
“First impressions suggest a lethal predator stealing a piece of the equipment, when in fact it has merely managed to get hold of the lure that the crew were dangling in front of its face; not dissimilar to what happens with a common house cat.
“Although a 13-foot- long, 1700-pound shark sounds like an unstoppable force of rage, they are in fact largely being decimated by humankind with our own selfishness and brutality.”
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