Surviving in the world's oceans is rough, especially if you happen to be a seal. All over the world, different types of seals live a perilous existence, always in fear of predation from one of the world's deadliest predators, the great white shark. From Cape Cod Massachusetts down to seal island in Guadalupe, seals and sea lions must always be wary when they enter the water. In this short video from National Geographic, a group of cape fur seals in South Africa watch a youngster fall prey to "air jaws" its first time in the water after the huge predator makes a leaping grab on the youngster.
However, this spectacular drone footage turns out a bit differently than you might expect. Because after the attack, the seals collectively decide they have had enough. Amazingly, they all team up to chase the large shark out of the area completely. It's a risky proposition since they put themselves in danger every time they enter the water. However, with overwhelming numbers, they are able to drive the large ocean predator out of the area, at least temporarily.
The move to drive the great white shark hunting seals out of the area was extremely dangerous. However, it paid off with a short reprieve from attack. It is rare to witness a sighting like this in the wild. Mostly because many of these marine mammals are on the menu for white sharks including the ferocious leopard seal and elephant seal. Being a seal is a rough existence because they not only have to worry about sharks, but also polar bears and orcas or killer whales in many areas. Every day is a risk vs reward situation when the seals decide to enter and exit the water. If they enter at the wrong time, then it is all over for them.
In recent years, many scientists have drawn connections between shark attacks on humans and the big fish's natural inclination to seek out seals and sea lions. From below, a surfer sitting on a board can easily have a profile that matches that of a seal, especially if the water is murky. It is something to keep in mind if you are swimming in waters with these marine mammals. One thing is for sure, that great white was relentless in pursuit of that young seal. Forget about the "Jaws" movies, the real-life version of one of these beasts hunting is much more terrifying!
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