By Mark McConville
INCREDIBLE IMAGES have captured the moment one hungry Oceanic Blacktip shark appeared to try to swallow another whole.
The stunning pictures show the shark completely engulf the other’s head in its mouth as other sharks swim nearby.
Other striking shots show divers posing alongside the sharks as they swim beside them in the water, the sharks coming in for a closer look at the camera and viciously attacking sardines.
The remarkable incident was captured at Aliwal Shoal, South Africa by specialist shark guide for Blue Wilderness, Mia Vorster (41), from East London, South Africa.
“As I get to swim with these amazing animals every day it’s very rare to encounter and capture a situation like this,” she said.
“The images portray the sharks in their full glory. It shows how comfortable we coexist and should convey the reality that sharks are not dangerous to humans.
“Sharks sometimes make mistakes but this was not about aggression. The shark was simply trying to gulp in a sardine; it caused no damage to the other shark.”
The photographs were taken using a GoPro and Mia explained how the sharks are easy to photograph and shoot.
“They come visit us every day and are really friendly and comfortable around the humans in the water,” she said.
“That we have been interacting with them for the past 12 years, means that we can get really close to them and capture incredible behaviour on simple equipment like a GoPro.”
Swift, energetic piscivores, black tip sharks are known to make spinning leaps out of the water while attacking schools of small fish. Their demeanour has been described as “timid” compared to other large requiem sharks.
Normally wary of humans, black tip sharks can become aggressive in the presence of food and have been responsible for a number of attacks on people.
For more information see https://bluewilderness.co.za/