A diver and photographer came face-to-face with a massive pregnant bull shark and captured stunning images of the creature off the coast of Jupiter, Florida.
John Moore was free diving last month when an oversized pregnant bull shark began feeding near him for over 45 minutes. Moore, an experienced photographer, diver and conservation advocate, told WKMG-TV that he wasn't fearful of the predatory shark but instead found her size to be awe-inspiring.
"She was kind of unique that she came powering right up through the other bulls," Moore said. "She was super dominant, just kind of right in the forefront of everything. She was swimming right up to my mask and just kind of sizing up what was going on out there, and she was just so impressive."
He added, "She looked like she was ready to pop. She was almost, like, round, she was so big."
With his camera, Moore was able to capture an up-close and personal look into the shark's razor sharp teeth and gold eyes.
"A fish had grabbed the chunk of bait and run toward me for cover, before getting scared and dropping the chunk. This set me up for a shot that's even too close for my 20mm lens," Moore wrote of the encounter on Instagram.
According to the National Wildlife Foundation, bull sharks are often considered one of the most dangerous types of sharks to humans, thanks to their ability to migrate up rivers and their aggressive behavior.
But Moore, who frequently photographs sharks on diving adventures, told WKMG that getting near the giant beasts doesn't scare him.
"A lot of people hear the word 'bull shark' and they think scary, intimidating predator. I don't see them like that at all," Moore said. "What I do I don't see as being any more dangerous than what a lot of other people do."
The 55-year-old diver is a captain with diving company Florida Shark Diving, according to WPEC-TV.
In another Instagram post, Moore detailed the impressive nature of a bull shark's teeth and said he believes humans don't have much reason to fear them.
"These powerful animals spend most of their time calmly cruising the depths looking for fish to eat and steering clear of other predators. Humans unquestionably have much less to fear from them than they have from us. These apex predators are absolutely necessary for a healthy ecosystem," he wrote.
Florida has the highest concentration of large sharks on its coastline than anywhere else along the East Coast. Bull sharks, which usually travel in packs, can range in length from 5 to 14 feet and can weigh over 1,500 pounds, according to WPEC.
Moore estimates that the pregnant female he encountered was even bigger than 1,500 pounds. The shark enthusiast told WKMG that he hopes his photos will help bring more awareness to the species.
Newsweek contacted Moore for an additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication.