Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Video: Tiger Sharks Devour Manatee Off Florida Coast

Tiger shark eats manatee (Florida)
A group of fishermen come across two tiger sharks tearing into the eviscerated carcass of a manatee floating off the coast of Marco Island, FL. Fortunately for us, they were able to capture some of the action on their cell phone camera.

What makes this video so unique is that sharks and manatees typically co-exist without much issue.  Of course in this case, an easy meal was offered that these sharks could not resist.

Patrick Rose, Aquatic Biologist and Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club, notes that sharks rarely attack healthy manatees due to their large size and because manatees typically spend a considerable amount of time in brackish or even fresh water which is not the favored environment for most sharks (bull sharks being the exception).

Mr. Rose states that he has observed manatees in the close proximity of sharks with no negative interaction between them.  He adds that sharks will sometimes even follow behind the lumbering manatee as they will often stir up fish movement as they move about.

He does note that in the case of either dead or sick manatees, they will sometimes draw the attention of opportunistic sharks which clearly appears to be the case in this video.

The video was taken during a fishing trip with Captain Bubby Hail from Florida's Finest Fishing.  The video was posted on Youtube on June 24, 2013 by Bubby Hail and it is 1:15 in length.

You can view a second video here which appears to have been taken prior to the one shown below.
Photo is screenshot from video.