Video: Shark Goes To Town On Whale Carcass Off Dana Point
You can learn a lot about a culture through its breakfasts. For Americans, the spread is filling and generous. In Italy, the simple pairing of espresso and a brioche will do.
What can we deduce about sharks from their morning diets? As shown in the above video, they'll take a hefty serving of whale carcass, thank you very much. We also learn that they know how to relish in a good meal.
As noted at the OC Register, the footage was shot on Saturday morning by shark tagger Keith Poe. It was taken about 14 miles away from Dana Point in Orange County. The carcass belongs to a whale named Scarlet, who'd been a familiar face off the coast in Southern California. As noted at an earlier OC Register article, Scarlet was first documented in 1997 in the Santa Barbara Channel when she was a calf, and she'd been spotted as far north as Oregon in 2000. It was the Channel Islands area, however, that served as her favorite stomping grounds.
Sadly, Scarlet had been having a hard time in recent months. In August of 2016, she was spotted with rope in her mouth and around a pectoral fin—the line was believed to have limited her movements. Researchers attempted to help her, but the efforts were in vain. Her weight diminished, and she was clearly losing strength.
Miraculously, she appeared once again in September, freed from the rope. It was with great shock, then, that she was discovered dead off Newport Beach last week, on April 20.
The current situation is that Newport lifeguards are working to keep the corpse from floating onto shore, as a large carcass will attract sharks (see: video). Also, it's just a huge hassle to dispose off a giant rotting body. The plan, then, it to tow the whale further out into the ocean, and hope that it'll drift elsewhere.
As Poe told the OC Register, the feasting shark seems to be abnormally large, and may possibly be pregnant. So, you know, circle of life and all that.