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Huge Elephant Seal Chases Away Great White Shark

Huge Elephant Seal Chases Away Great White Shark

The shark was headed towards a seal colony but the elephant seal decided to step in

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

An elephant seal was caught on camera chasing away a great white shark.

Footage filmed by 14-year-old Luka Oosthuizen at the Robberg Nature Reserve in Robberg, South Africa shows the huge elephant seal chasing away the shark as it attempted to swim towards a fur seal colony.

Luka's mum Mariella Rossi said her son, an aspiring wildlife photographer, had gone out that day to try and capture some shots of great white sharks.

She explained: "While filming, he realised that something the size of one of the underwater boulders was moving and chased the shark.

"This elephant seal apparently frequents our bay around seal-calving season and has been given the name Solo by residents!"

The video shows the shark moving towards the cape fur seals, but before it gets a chance to get too near a large shadow can be seen approaching the shark.

Luka Oosthuizen via Storyful

Rossi said Solo managed to see off the shark. Nicely done.

And, in case you didn't know, great whites can shift when they need to - as recent footage filmed by drone over near to Capo Beach in California shows.

Photographer Matt Larmand was out shooting some film with his drone when he spotted the great white and started to follow it.

However, it was seemingly spooked after spotting the drone's shadow and swam away at speed.

Speaking to For the Win, Larmand said: "He was going at least 20mph. I was going full throttle on the drone trying to catch up to him."

He added: "I'm not sure what triggered him to burst into speed like that; I've never seen one do that."

Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab at California State University, told the news outlet the shark was most likely startled after spotting the drone's shadow and wanted to get away.

He explained: "This response to the shadow of the drone supports one reason why they hang out in shallow waters.

"They don't know what is a threat and the safest behaviour is to flee when they experience something unknown.

"What's also interesting is that babies will exhibit this rapid flight in one direction, while older sharks will do a loop around when scared.

"This doubling back on a potential threat is a typical predator behaviour to prevent a rear attack."

Featured Image Credit: Luka Oosthuizen via Storyful

Topics: Animals, shark