Video footage of a 17ft Great White shark appearing to break into a diving cage has gone viral, having garnered thousands of views online.
The clip, which was captured by a shark expert in Mexico, shows the beast attempting to break into a cage holding three tourists after growing 'curious' to its new visitors.
Jimi Partington, a shark expert and diver from Manchester, UK, was overseeing the dive trip near Guadalupe Island last year when the incident took place.
He said: "We were running an exclusive 'Shark Week' themed expedition to find, film and dive with the world's largest Great White sharks.
"We use bait (primarily tuna) which is on our dive permit, typically to attract the sharks.
"We visit an area where sharks are already naturally hunting, so on many occasions, bait is not even needed as natural curiosity is enough sometimes to attract the shark's attention.
"In this particular case, no bait was used at the time. The animal was simply curious about us being the visitors in its world."
The shark was a fully mature female weighing around two tonnes, and was one Jimi had previously seen in the ocean - having decided to give her the name 'Bullet' due to the distinctive marking on her dorsal fin, which resembles a bullet hole.
Jimi continued: "We have seen this shark a number of times over the years of operating at Guadalupe Island, and she has become one of our favourites.
"She is one of the largest Great White sharks you are likely to encounter.
"Every Great White shark has its own personality. Some are shy, whereas some are more bold.
"This is one of the reasons we have got to know each individual shark so well over the years.
"Often the larger females (such as Bullet) are less shy than, say, the younger males, and on this occasion, she had been interacting and swimming around the boat for around 30 minutes, getting more and more interested in our vessel and our cages over time.
"She took a liking to one of the cage floats which is attached to the side of the cage and used her mouth to test and find out for herself what this object was.
"Only a shark with the size and bold personality of Bullet would have the confidence to try such a thing."
The three women in the cage were able to remain relaxed throughout their encounter with Bullet, and filmed her as she explored the cage.
Jimi also had no concerns, adding: "None of the women were injured in any way.
"Contrary to popular belief, most sharks ignore the cages and only on very rare occasions do moments like this occur.
"When (and if) encounters like this do happen, our cages are designed to withstand the challenge.
"Of course safety for our guests is our number one priority, but I knew that they were safe within the cage, so my next concern was that of the safety of Bullet.
"Although this was a natural exploration we did not want the shark to accidentally injure herself in any way."
The footage concludes with Bullet losing interest in the cage, swimming off into the distance to go about her day.
"Over the years I have witnessed much interaction such as this," Jimi said, "and I knew that the encounter would only last a few moments before the shark would get bored, realise the float was not of any interest to it, let go and swim away.
"You just have to sit these moments out, make sure people are safe and let the shark move on peacefully."
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