A video shot off Gansbaii, South Africa of a white shark bumping a cage, after charging a hang bait, has been making the rounds in the (largely tabloid) media today. Some of the more creative news outlets have referred to the shark in the video as “trying to bite through steel bars of diving cage” and “charging the cameraman.” However, the behavior seen in the video does not appear to document anything beyond the shark going after a bait in close proximity to the cage and then bumping the cage after the bait was pulled away. The white shark does get briefly “tangled” with the bars of the cage, but eventually swims off without further incident.
White sharks do not have the ability to swim backwards, so when they are charging a bait momentum will often cause them to continue in the same direction, even if the bait is pulled away from them. Additionally, when attempting to bite prey, white sharks will often roll their eyes backward as a protective measure, rendering them temporarily blind, which can also contribute to collisions if bait is close to cage. The behavior exhibited in this video seems consistent with a shark merely going for a hang bait and subsequently bumping into the cage as a result.
“Great White Ambush,” this week’s episode of National Geographic Channel’s “Die Trying,” will follow a team of shark experts, along with wildlife filmmaker Andy Casagrande to Shark Alley off the coast of Gansbaai, South Africa. The team’s goal is to capture a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in hopes of mounting data loggers and camera tags on the back of the shark, in order to scientifically document the complete profile of a breaching great white for the first time ever.
WARNING: Video contains profanity (and also was shot vertically, which some may find more offensive than the profanity)
YouTube user Bryan Plummer‘s video of a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) getting its head caught in a shark cage has gone viral and was all over the U.S. national news this morning. The video was shot by Plummer on March 21 and documents a white shark swimming into a shark cage, which appears to have at least two divers in it. Unfortunately, the shark’s head breached the “viewing port” in close proximity to one of the cage divers. Fortunately, no divers were harmed in the incident and the shark managed to free itself.
White sharks lack the ability to swim backwards, so the thrashing seen in the video is not uncommon when a shark gets entangled or caught as was the case in the situation.