Shocking footage has captured a shark after it was attacked and half-eaten by other members of its own species, but managed to keep swimming for minutes before finally succumbing to its injuries.
Dr Mario Lebrato, 35, from Spain, captured the incredibly rare video of shark cannibalism one to two meters below the Indian ocean surface in Mozambique.
The researcher was filming the oceanic blacktip shark when releasing it back into the ocean, when a different group of around 10 sharks set upon it.
The resulting footage shows the shark after having already been attacked, with huge chunks ripped from its side and blood and flesh pouring into the water.
A huge hole can be seen in the side of the shark, with a second smaller chunk of flesh missing towards its tail fin.
Torn flesh and sinew are visible through the murky water caused by the blood leaking from the creature as it struggles in vain to swim away from the others.
Despite its injuries, the shark carried on swimming with a line still attached to its mouth as the other sharks continued to circle it ominously in the water.
The shark was eventually freed from the line, and the footage shows it swimming off into the depths with a large portion of its body missing, followed by its predators.
After a five minute struggle following the attack, the shark succumbed to its injuries, Lebrato – who filmed the attack in 2018 – said.
Dr Lebrato said ‘I’ve been working in Mozambique for four years now and sharks eat sharks, that is well known, but it is super difficult to film and document.
‘The shark struggled for around twenty minutes, it struggled for only five minutes after the attack.
‘There were bull sharks and other oceanic black tips involved in the attack, I would say roughly about 10 in total.
‘One of the sharks was pregnant and was around 300 to 400 kilograms in size.
‘This happened offshore, in around 100 meters of open ocean water.’
It is believed all species of sharks have cannibalistic tendencies – including the fearsome great whites – Professor Mark Meekan, from the Australian Institute for Marine Science, said in 2019.
‘It’s not just one rogue shark attacking other sharks or even one species of shark attacking other sharks. It’s lots of different sharks turning on each other,’ He said at the time.
Professor Meekan believes shark-on-shark attacks are on the rise due to the measures used to keep the hungry predators away from swimmers.