Great White Feeding Frenzy Filmed As 16-Foot Mega Sharks Feast on Whale Carcass

A whale carcass that washed up on the coast of Australia yesterday sparked a shark feeding frenzy, with residents urged to avoid the sea.

Pictures and video footage taken by onlookers show large sharks attracted to Bulli Beach, close to the city of Wollongong in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, in the hopes of getting a bite of the deceased animal—believed to be a humpback.

Illawarra council officials said today all local residents should avoid waters between Bulli and Sandon Point beaches as an operation is launched to remove the whale from the area, although it will likely continue to be an "attractant" after being towed.

Despite often being solitary ocean predators, sharks can quickly become embroiled in an aggressive feeding frenzy if they are attracted to the same prey.

Resident Dane Woods expressed shock at the size of a slower-moving shark filmed from his boat today, saying it was as big as his 16-foot vessel. "Met a megalodon today," he wrote on Instagram alongside the footage. (Warning: language)

An image uploaded to Instagram by Georgia Matts showed a shark close to her boat, with the user noting it was "safe to say" she wouldn't be surfing for a few days.

A video uploaded by Surf Life Saving NSW caught a feeding frenzy in action from afar while pictures shared by the Illawarra unit got a close-up of the sharks.

Update - Incredible footage of multiple large sharks feeding off a whale carcass off Bulli Beach late this...

Posted by Surf Life Saving Illawarra on Thursday, September 10, 2020

In its most-recent public alert, Surf Life Saving Illawarra, which is a beach and coastline protection organization, said it had been told by Wollongong Police District the carcass was expected to be towed from Bulli Beach by authorities this afternoon.

It said: "Several sharks have been sighted throughout the day feeding from the carcass and surrounding waters. Surf Life Saving Illawarra would like to remind the public that the carcass will continue to be an attractant to sharks off the Illawarra coast.

"Advice is that water users should take additional caution in the vicinity of any whale carcasses and adhere to any beach closures advised by Wollongong City Council."

The organization said yesterday suspected tiger sharks were filmed feeding, warning the public not to swim, surf or dive in the area as they pose a real threat.

9News, which obtained video clips of multiple encounters, reported the frenzy was also attended by great whites, with some reportedly as big as 16 feet long. YouTube account Stack Images today released some drone footage of sharks taken from the scene:

The City of Wollongong said in a statement earlier today: "We're asking everyone to stay out of the water between Sandon Point and Bulli Beach.

"There have been a significant number of sharks spotted in the area after a dead whale was washed up at Waniora Point, Bulli. Council has worked with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Police to remove the whale carcass."

Coastguards and city officials have been on high alert this week after a 46-year-old man died following a shark attack off Greenmount Beach in the Gold Coast area. A tooth from a suspected great white was later found lodged in his surfboard.

Wollongong Mayor Gordon Bradbery said lifeguards were working to remove the whale from the water using a boat ramp, and would take it to a waste facility.

"As I understand it, the carcass is in a pretty putrefied state," he said, ABC reported. "It sounds like the sharks might have done their job well before it reached the rocks."

Great White Shark
Great White Sharks seasonally gather off the coast of Guadalupe Island; divers dive inside cages off the boat Nautilus Explorer in order to safely swim with the sharks on September 15, 2016, 150 miles off the coast of Mexico. Dave J Hogan/Getty