Shark Binges on Dead Whale Off California Coast

posted by RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter - 

A large great white shark estimated to be up to 17-feet-long has created a stir off the California coast Thursday after video posted to social media showed the beast chowing down on a gray whale carcass.

Ryan Troli, a captain with AllWater Charter told NBC LA that the gray whale carcass had been towed ten miles out to sea when it began drifting back to the pier again Friday morning. 

That's when Troli's boss, AllWater Charter owner Marc Levine told him to get down to the pier with a camera to see the shark. 

"Look at the bite marks on him!" one man can be heard exclaiming about the shark. "Come in for a snack!" another one shouts at the shark. 

The shark then lazily swims up to the carcass and takes a huge chunk out of the floating carcass. 

"He said there was a dead whale carcass floating off San Clemente Pier and it had some shark bites in it, so we made our way down there and found the whale carcass floating," Troli said.

"I've been on the water for over 20 years here and I've seen some great whites, but I've never seen one that large," he said. "It was extraordinarily big and it had a bite out of its head, which is usually a sign of mating so there's probably another one around."

A harbor patrol boat with the Orange County Sheriff patrol deputies and lifeguards showed up to tow the whale back out to sea, apparently scaring the great white off. 

"The shark disappeared once the sheriff showed up," Troli said. "It was kind of shy from all that boat traffic."

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