Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy

Ruth Doherty
Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy
Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy




A group of sharks have been caught on camera feasting on the carcass of an 11-metre sperm whale in NSW, Australia.

The scene was filmed by divers, who said there were at least three large great whites and two tiger sharks eating the blubber.

Brett Vercoe and his wife came across the feeding session around five to 10 kilometres off Sapphire Beach, near Coffs Harbour.

Speaking to ABC News, he said: "After 10 or 15 minutes it was quite obvious there were at least five sharks - three white pointers, up to about 4.5 metres in length, and two tigers, the biggest being about 4.2 [metres long].

"[It was] a very impressive display as they casually moved in and just took large bites out of the dead sperm whale."

"It was incredible to find that happening just five or 10 kilometres from Coffs Harbour. Unbelievable. It was a really exciting time."

Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy
Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy



Sergeant Don Stewart, from Coffs Harbour Water Police, headed to the scene after being alerted to the situation.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said: "I've been in this job for a long time and, while I've seen them feeding before, it's probably the closest that I've been to sharks that are actually feeding like that."

Australian Museum naturalist Martyn Robinson said the sharks would eat "washbasin-size lumps of meat at a time".

He told the site that sperm whales are usually found in deeper waters where they feed on giant squid, adding: "It's unusual to see one just off the coast but, by the same token, we have no idea how far it has drifted in the current. It could have died some distance away and just been drifting."

Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy
Huge sharks filmed in sperm whale carcass feeding frenzy



The carcass eventually washed up on Sapphire Beach stripped to the bone.

National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coffs Harbour City Council were disposing of the carcass, which they said would be buried.

The feeding frenzy was filmed on the same day that a bodyboarder was left fighting for his life after a great white shark attack in Ballina, 200km north of Sapphire Beach.


Bodyboarder Attacked by Great White Shark Off New South Wales Coast
Bodyboarder Attacked by Great White Shark Off New South Wales Coast







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