A drone captured on video 70 tiger sharks feeding on a dead humpback whale near Shark Bay in Western Australia. The footage was captured by Eco Abrolhos Cruises, an island tour company travelling to the Kimberley region and was uploaded on Facebook on May 20.
Tourists aboard two boats witnessed the sharks circling around the dead whale, devouring large pieces of the carcass. The whale is believed to weigh around 36,000 kilogrammes and as long as 15 metres.
“We went round for two hours right up close and personal you could reach over and touch them (the sharks),” says Eco Abrolhos Cruise operator Jay Cox. “They were very docile and very well fed, we counted around 70 tiger sharks of all shapes and sizes. Some of them were up to six metres long.”
Experts do not know whether the humpback whale was already dead or was slaughtered by the sharks. The video has since gone viral, garnering over 463,000 views.
“Passengers on our 14-day Geraldton to Broome and everywhere in between were treated to unexpected phenomena while cruising inside Dirk Hartog Island,” states Eco Abrolhos Cruises on their Facebook page. “Something to show and tell the grandchildren.”
The incident reminds of an earlier feeding frenzy, only that time, it involved false killer whales chasing a young shark before devouring it. The footage was also captured by a drone piloted by Bruno Kataoka. “We did not expect to see what we saw, it was a really exciting moment,” says Kataoka. “National Geographic guys waiting months to get such a thing, and we just happened to be there at the right moment and the right time.”
The false killer whales were between three metres and five metres long. Although these whales are known to feed on smaller marine animals including dolphins, experts are not sure if sharks are also part of their diet.