PERTH: A great white shark that washed up on an Australian beach this week had a sea lion stuck in its throat which likely caused its death, fisheries officials said Thursday.
The four-metre (13-foot) white pointer was filmed thrashing around just off Coronation Beach, 430 kilometres (270 miles) north of Perth, and was later found on the sand.
The Western Australia Department of Fisheries said it had no visible signs of injury or disease, but had a large sea lion lodged in its throat.
“This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behavior in shallow waters off Coronation Beach,” said research scientist Rory McAuley in a statement.”It is possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.
“Such a large object may have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death,” he added.
“Alternatively, the shark may have accidentally become stranded in his attempts to get rid of the obstruction.”
Brad Tapper filmed the shark as it struggled in shallow waters and posted the clip on YouTube.
Tapper, who had been at the beach with his children, said a dog walker first noticed the shark when his pet refused to go in the water.