A great white shark found on a beach in Australia on Monday reportedly died choking on a sea lion.
The 13-foot shark was found dead on Coronation Beach near Geraldton.
Beachgoers who saw and filmed the shark’s strange behavior noticed that it had been tagged and wondered if that was the cause of its distress.
Dr. Rory McAuley, Department of Fisheries' principal research scientist, said the shark had no visible sign of injury or disease, but did have a large Australian sea lion stuck in its throat. He also confirmed that the shark had been tagged in January.
“This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behavior in shallow waters off Coronation Beach,” McAuley said. “It’s possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.”
McAuley explained that an object as large as the sea lion could have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills. He also speculated that the shark could have accidentally become stranded in an attempt to dislodge the sea lion.
The Department of Fisheries has since taken tissue and vertebrae samples, as well as information from the shark’s tracking device, for research purposes.
Since the shark footage was uploaded it has accumulated almost 40,000 views.