Huge tiger shark is seen devouring a TURTLE just off Hawaii beach popular with surfers, with locals warned to stay out of its waters
- Video showed a nearly 10-foot tiger shark chomping down on a sea turtle
- Warnings were posted at Honolulu’s popular Ala Moana Beach Park Tuesday
- Tiger sharks have made up half of the reported shark bites this year – but the total number of attacks remains low
Shocking video shows a tiger shark attacking a helpless sea turtle in the waters off Hawaii – forcing officials to issue a warning at at popular beach.
A series of videos posted to Instagram depict a tiger shark pushing a turtle around the waters of Magic Island Lagoon near Honolulu.
In the first video, captioned ‘Tiger shark outside magic island eating a turtle,’ the shark can be seen fastening its teeth in the turtle’s side while nudging it in circles. It is unclear if the turtle has already died, as it makes no effort to escape.
The shark passes a boat full of people, including a man who is hanging off the side, before it drags the turtle underwater and swims off.
When prodded in the comments, Fujita confirmed that the predator swallowed the entire turtle, shell and all.
A heartbreaking video posted to Instagram shows the moment a green sea turtle was attacked by a tiger shark
The shark is seeing pushing the turtle around the water, sinking its teeth into its side
The shark was spotted by Honolulu’s Ala Moana Beach Park, in the waters of Magic Island Lagoon
In the comments on the original video, North Shore lifeguard Mikey Bruneau asked: ‘How big you think the shark was? Looks huge.’
Blayne Fujita, the original poster, responded: ‘It was as wide as the jet ski and probably the same length. Maybe 13ft.’
Those near the beach, including master diver Nicholas Back, corroborated the footage. Bank spotted the shark at the surf break known as ‘Courts.’
‘We were out here at work and we saw a few boats congregated out here outside of Magic Island lagoon,’ Back told KHON.
‘We also saw some splashing and what looked like unfortunately a little honu (a Hawaiian green sea turtle) was turning into a midday snack for that shark.’
In a second video, the shark heads towards a boat, shoving the helpless turtle underwater
It is unclear if the turtle has died, but it does not attempt to escape the shark’s jaws
The shark then drags the turtle underwater. It swims off quickly with the prey lodged in its jaws
The attack and other shark sightings have prompted Hawaii officials to post warnings at Ala Moana Beach Park.
The signs warn of possible sharks and tell people to check with lifeguards on current conditions before heading into the water.
Honolulu city officials said multiple sharks were seen swimming off Waikiki Beach the same day, while there was another shark sighting Monday off Makaha Beach.
Experts say it is not uncommon to see more sharks around this time of year.
‘That’s because the big pregnant females from the northwestern Hawaiian islands, about a third of the population, migrate down here at this time of year to give birth,’ Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Waikiki Aquarium Director, told WKRG.
Rossiter encouraged people to avoid the water at specific times and places to reduce their chances of running into a shark.
‘One of those places would be at the mouth river runoffs, especially after rain, because sharks will be there, especially, looking for food,’ he said.
‘Secondly, try to stay out of the water very, very early morning and late, late afternoon when the sun has gone down and it’s almost dark.’
Warnings were issued on nearby beaches. Tiger sharks migrate from the northwestern Hawaiian islands at this time of year to give birth
A post shared by Blayne K Fujita (@blayne_f)
A post shared by Blayne K Fujita (@blayne_f)
In the event of a shark encounter, swimmers are instructed to stay calm, cover any shiny accessories – which sharks may mistake for fish due to their poor eyesight – and push the shark’s nose away.
While the recent sightings may evoke concern in surfers, only six shark bites have been reported in Hawaii this year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The waters surrounding the islands are home to around 40 species of sharks.
The most recent bite, on October 25, was caused by a tiger shark. Half of the shark bites reported this year were tiger sharks.
They are one of three main shark species known to attack humans, and are thought to be responsible for most shark attacks in Hawaii, according to the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.
However, the majority of attacks are non-fatal.
‘This attack rate is surprisingly low considering that thousands of people swim, surf and dive in Hawaiian waters every day. Despite these statistics, shark attacks remain a highly emotive topic in Hawaii,’ Principal Investigator Kim Holland wrote.
Tiger sharks account for most shark attacks in Hawaii; however, the majority are non-fatal
The predators are known to stalk turtles that move due to their poor eyesight, so turtles simply must stay still to evade them
Magic Island, a manmade peninsula at the east end of Ala Moana Beach Park, is frequented by tourists and locals alike
Tiger sharks can measure up to 18 feet long, snout to tail, but are generally under 14 feet.
The species has been deemed ‘the garbage can of the sea’ for its reputation of eating a variety of animals and dead remains. It is a non-selective feeder that eats everything from shellfish to birds to mammals.
This means turtles are a common element of its diet.
The phenomenon has been widely documented, including a video of a tiger shark chomping on a turtle off the coast of Western Australia last May.
A study published last year in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology found evidence that tiger sharks stalk their prey by movement. To evade predators, turtles simply stay still.
Tuesday’s sighting happened off the coast of Magic Island, a manmade peninsula at the east end of Ala Moana Beach Park.
It is popular with tourists and locals alike, featuring large seawalls and a shallow lagoon.
In August, officials warned of an ‘aggressive’ 10-foot tiger shark swimming through the Ala Moana Bowls and Magic Island areas.
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