Dale Pearson saw something thrashing in shallow water outside his home in Puertecitos, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez. He and a friend waded out to help the struggling beast, assuming it was a whale or possibly a hammerhead shark.
Instead, they discovered an injured great white shark. Pearson, a dive boat operator, estimated the adult shark was about 14-15 feet long. Its incredible size and the oddity of it floundering in the shallows induced a boatload of swear-y wonder from the two friends. "That's a fucking white shark," Pearson can be heard saying. "Holy shit."
The video of the injured apex predator went viral after he posted it to his company's Facebook page. In it, Pearson gets awfully close to the shark while staying behind the shark as best he can. Sharks aren't able to move backward with ease.
The shark, a vulnerable species (just above endangered) according to the World Wildlife Fund, appears to have been hit by a boat propeller just behind its dorsal fin. The Marine Conservation Science Institute shared Pearson's video and noted this kind of injury isn't likely to kill a great white. "We agree with [the] person who took this video, in that the injuries from the boat propeller would likely not kill the shark," the page wrote. "They are exceptionally tough with incredible healing ability."
Additionally, in the comments of the Institute's post, president and executive director Michael Domeier agrees with Pearson's assessment that the shark may have come to shallow waters to feed on stingrays while injured.
No one had an easy day in the water that day. Pearson's friend had an encounter with a stingray that left him limping out of the water and bloodied. "All of us there got hit by rays within minutes of each other," Pearson wrote on Facebook.
h/t Huffington Post
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