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Entries in Great White Shark (3)

Monday
Mar252013

Shark Attack in South Africa Causes Honeymoon Scare

Comstock/Thinkstock(GANSBAAI, South Africa) -- A close encounter with a great white shark nearly ended a couple's honeymoon -- literally -- for one man in South Africa.

The man, identified only as “Roger” in a video posted on YouTube, was diving in the waters off Gansbaai, South Africa, last Thursday, when a great white shark made a grab for him and a fellow diver inside a cage.

Instead of going after the bait outside of the cage, the shark dove for his head, with his jaws wide open, inside.

“For the first few seconds, you can’t help but think the worst has happened,” said Bryan Plummer, the fellow shark diver who captured the terrifying scene on camera.

The honeymooner, who had just said “I do” the day before the dive, according to Plummer, managed to swim down just below the shark’s open mouth and avoid injury.

“His instinct was to just go down and avoid where the shark had access to,” said Plummer.  “[It was] very quick thinking on his part.”

The terrifying moments before it was clear that both divers had survived were captured on YouTube by Plummer who described it as an “out of control situation.”

“Apologies for any profanity in the video,” Plummer writes in his description of the clip.

Experts say the shark was acting on its natural instincts.

“When they get the scent of blood or scent of fish in the water they can go into quite a frantic feeding-type frenzy,” said Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.  “They just sort of devour and hit everything in their path.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Anger at 'Shark Men' After Famous Bodyboarder Killed by Great White

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- One day after South Africa revoked a permit for a U.S.-based production company filming shark research near Cape Town, commenters continued to blame the documentary team for Thursday's great white attack that killed a revered bodyboarder -- even as the city seemed to exonerate the researchers.

Hundreds of South Africans posted angry messages Thursday and Friday on the Shark Men Facebook page, saying that the practice of "chumming" -- baiting the water to attract sharks -- had led to the death of 20-year-old champion bodyboarder David Lilienfeld.

"This chumming is ridiculous. ... There hasn't been a single shark sighting where David was attacked since 1999. How can you say this was not a result of them chumming our waters," posted Bianca Schwerin.

According to local news reports, Lilienfeld, a member of the South African Bodyboarding Team, was paddling with his brother Gustav in Kogel Bay at a popular surfing spot called the "Caves" near Cape Town when a shark nearly 13-feet- to 16-feet-long bit off his right leg. Lilienfeld died in the water and his body eventually floated to shore.

The Shark Men program, which has shown on the National Geographic channel, features expert anglers working with scientists to catch sharks and tag them for research. The production company reportedly had a permit for chumming and filming.

On the show's Facebook page, Chris Fischer, the production company's founder and show host, denied that the project had led to the attack.

In a post, he said: "We departed False Bay over three days ago after working there from Sunday afternoon the 15th to Monday afternoon the 16th. During our 24 hrs of work (Sun afternoon to Monday afternoon) there we chummed 24 kg of pilchards (sardines). Less than the daily allotment for each of three cage diving boats working daily. ... We are terribly sorry again for the loss of this family and at this time our thoughts and prayers are with them."

But commenters on the page disagreed.

"Murders. You were warned of this and ignored the local knowledge. And you call yourselves conservationists? Since when do you feed wild animals?" wrote Dion Beneke.

"Chumming must stop and the exploitation of our wildlife in Africa must stop this is all about greed and money," said Monica Rogers.

The show's research permit was pulled Thursday by the South Africa Environmental Affairs Department. In a statement, the agency's spokesman Zolile Nqayi said that the permit had been suspended, not revoked, and that a meeting with Shark Men and Ocearch, the foundation behind the shark research, had been scheduled for next week.

"In light of the panic in the public, the department withdrew the permit firstly because of the shark attack and the possibility that another could occur," Nquayi said.

Gregg Oelofse, head of Cape Town's environmental policy department, however, said the permit should not have been denied.

"I don't think it was the right decision because I don't think there's any evidence that the two events were related," he told ABC News. "I think by withdrawing the permit, it just increased the perception in the public realm that there was some correlation between the two."

Cape Town also released a statement, saying that great whites were known to frequent Kogel Bay during this period and that the presence of dolphins and birds feeding indicated "an increased likelihood of shark activity."

"There is no evidence or reason to suggest that the tagging of four white sharks over a period of 24 hours ... by the Ocearch Programme had any role to play in the tragic events that occurred at Caves," according to the statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

2,000 Pound Great White Shark Caught in Mexico

Comstock/Thinkstock (file photo)(CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico) -- Two fisherman in Mexico netted a monstrous catch quite unexpectedly this week: a 2,000 pound great white shark.

The enormous shark, which measured almost 20 feet in length, was caught in a net cast by commercial fishermen in the Sea of Cortez on Sunday, according to Pisces Sportfishing, a charter fishing company based in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The shark was already dead when the men found it, but the fisherman, identified only as Guadalupe and Baltazar, were still overwhelmed by it.

“We were amazed and immediately realized that we had a huge, dead, great white shark, and then we thought, 'what are we going to do?'” Guadalupe told Pisces Sportfishing’s Tracy Ehrenberg.

The fishing boat had to be towed to shore because of the extra weight, where more than 50 bystanders helped the men drag the dead shark onto the docks.

Pisces Sportfishing reported that the shark “fed the whole town.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio