WASHINGTON — A White shark that was seen in a YouTube video thrashing on a Western Australian beach had a large sea lion stuck inside its throat.
The video that was posted July 12 showed the shark swimming in the shallow waters of Coronation Beach, vigorously shaking its tail, before returning to deeper waters. Eventually the shark washed ashore.
A scientist with Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries traveled to investigate why the shark died.
Principal research scientist Dr. Rory McAuley said the 13-foot shark had no visible signs of injury or disease, but had a large Australian sea lion stuck inside its throat.
“That could explain wy the shark was exhibiting unusual behaviour in shallow waters off Coronation Beach. It is possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage,” McAuley said in a statement.
The researcher says the sea lion may have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into its gills. Or the shark may have become stranded, trying to expel the sea lion.
Tagging indicated the shark had been in South Australia in January of this year.
Tissue and vertebral samples were taken for future study.