Paul Keller first thought he was hearing water splashing on a rock. Turns out it was a large shark splashing about as it tore into a whale carcass.
“I’ve never seen anything even remotely close, other than, you know, documentaries on African lions feasting on the carcass of things,” said Keller.
He and his wife were vacationing on Campobello Island for the week, up from their home in China, Maine.
Keller says he was exploring the shoreline behind the cottage they’d rented when he came across the hungry shark eating a dead whale that he estimates was about 7.5 metres away.
“It was kind of surreal, the intestine of the whale was hanging out,” said Keller. “It was kind of morbid.”
WATCH | See a shark feast on a whale carcass:
In a grim twist during a whale-watching tour, spectators near Campobello Island came across a shark chomping down on a floating whale carcass.
Keller filmed the encounter on his cell phone. He manged to capture video of the shark breaching the surface of the ocean to come up and take a bite.
It was “physically coming out of the water with his whole head and biting and tearing, doing that sawing motion back and forth, tearing flesh off,” said Keller.
The scene was also visited by a whale-watching vessel, full of people who had signed up to see live whale. They got an unexpected eyeful.
“I was a little bit worried that people would be upset about it,” said Caption Ralph Dennison, of The Tarquin, a whale watching vessel with Downeast Charter Boat Tours in Lubec, Maine.
“But when they seen the sharks and all that, most people thought, “Wow, that’s pretty cool.”
“I mean, that’s raw nature,” said Dennison, who believes it was a great white shark. He ventured close to capture photos of the whale carcass to share with researchers who may be interested in its demise.
Dennison says he can’t be certain, but he suspects the it was a minke whale that had been dead for a while before the carcass attracted the hungry shark.
“It was starting to be quite decomposed, but it had been fed on a lot too,” aid Dennison. “There were big, big round bite marks from sharks in it and, you know, one of the bite marks had to be at least 18 inches in diameter.”
As a boat captain for the last 14 years he says he is noticing more great white sharks in the Bay of Fundy.
“We see more and more often seals up on the rocks when they haul out that have bite marks in them,” said Dennison.