Seal Island: Where Great White Sharks Hunt Seals Inside a Ring of Death



Image: © Dan Callister

A shark breaches the water with its seal prey firmly gripped in its jaws.

It had been a good day for the young Cape Fur seal. The fishing was good, the weather was clear, and it was time to head back to the rocky island that was home for a satisfying bask in the sun. Or so it thought. Without realizing it, the inexperienced seal had swum into what is known, at South Africa’s Seal Island, as the ‘ring of death’ – a place where deadly predators launch themselves spectacularly from the depths to seize their victims in their mouths.


Image: © Dan Callister

Seals ‘porpoising’ – leaping in and out of the water like dolphins

Suddenly the seal was no longer swimming, but instead found itself lifted up into the air between two powerful jaws. The attack from the deep was so sudden that the sea mammal didn’t even have time to consider escape. There would be no sunbathing for the seal that day, and no fishing tomorrow, as the Great White shark swam away with its prey.

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