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Shark Researcher Films Great White Circles Swimming Deer

Shark Deer

A swimming doe interrupted a shark survey in California.

Sean Van Summeran, founder of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, was observing sharks near a California beach when he spotted a swimming deer. Not exactly a common sight when you're out on the open ocean. As one might expect, it didn't take long for the sharks to get curious about the mammal that had invaded their domain. 

While it's unlikely the doe would have been attacked, the researcher then found himself trying to stay between the deer and the big shark to see if he could coax the swimming doe back to shore unharmed. 

You can get a good look at the shark right at the 2:13 mark:

One thing's for sure: it's hard to simultaneously steer a boat and take a video of a shark chasing a deer. The deer never appeared to be in any serious trouble, but we weren't the ones swimming in the ocean with a great white nearby! In the video he notes that he didn't expect the shark to attack the deer. However, just in case, he wanted to avoid an incident with a bloody, kicking deer in the water that may have alarmed people on the beach and given them the wrong impression about sharks. In a way, the deer was likely lucky it was sharks and not orca whales. The large marine mammals have been observed on multiple occasions eating deer and even moose when given the opportunity.

It's hard to say exactly why the deer was in the water or where it was planning on going. As hunters, we're well aware that deer are very strong in the water, so this one might've just been taking a swim in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Shark Researcher Films Great White Circles Swimming Deer