Video: Seagull Snatches Baby Shark Out of Ocean, Devours It Whole on New Jersey Beach

A seagull has been caught on camera attacking and devouring a baby shark on a New Jersey beach, an area that is increasingly plagued by aggressive birds.

Footage of the incident surfaced this week showing the small shark squirming as a large gull pecks at it from above. The bird then swallows most of its prey as a second opportunistic foe approaches. It was filmed by a beachgoer called Rebecca Stout, AOL reported.

"I don't know what this guy caught, tell me that's not a baby shark," a woman is heard saying in the 38-second cellphone video. The bird attack occurred on a beach in Ocean City.

The clip was first uploaded to YouTube on August 12. Stout wrote in a caption under the video: "Ocean City seagulls will literally [eat] anything. There is a plethora of food around this guy, but for some reason he felt the urge to take a plunge into the water and snag a shark.

She added: "They are FAST, no way would this guy leave this treasure behind if my husband tried to chase it away. And if it did fly away with it, it would be dead for sure. I still had hopes that he would give up. Although its blurry it was thrilling to get such an event recorded and on film."

The video may not be surprising to Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian, who warned last month that feeding the increasingly brave seagulls and wildlife in the area is against the law.

In a letter released to the public, Gillian wrote: "These birds have become very aggressive and pose a public safety hazard. Some people think it's funny to feed the gulls and see them swarm. For the health and safety of both animals and humans, this must stop.

"The best deterrent is the simplest: Cut off this easy and unnatural food supply. That means not just refraining from feeding them, but protecting your food from them.

"I am urging boardwalk merchants to provide enclosed containers for customers carrying takeout, and I plead with parents to understand that these scavengers will swoop down and steal food even out of your children's hands." In recent weeks, the problem became so bad that falcons, hawks and owls have been used to patrol the boardwalk and the beach.

The birds of prey have been flying over Ocean City from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day since August 3 to deter pesky seagulls from the area. Government officials said: "When... professionals fly the raptors overhead, gulls know instinctively to leave an unsafe place. Professional falconry based bird abatement is a humane, effective solution for removing nuisance birds."

Similar footage of a seagull eating a small sand shark was captured in July last year by a couple who witnessed the attack while walking along a beach in Avalon, New Jersey.

Local citizens know all too well of the gulls' thieving habits and some have embraced the deterrent program, NJ.com reported.

"I had a donut taken out of my hand while I was riding my bike. It slapped me on the side of my face, took the donut, and took off. We've seen them on the beach too, especially with people playing," resident Pep Bassett told the news outlet.

Last month, a woman in the U.K claimed that a seagull had snatched her pet Chihuahua from her garden. Back in March, viewers of the BBC's popular nature show Blue Planet reacted in horror after a seagull unexpectedly swooped into frame and ate a tiny baby turtle live on television.

Video: Seagull Snatches Baby Shark Out of Ocean, Devours It Whole on New Jersey Beach | News