Shark tar­gets tur­tle at beach

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

SWIM­MERS at Four Mile beach got a sur­prise on Tues­day when they wit­nessed a dead tur­tle be­ing at­tacked by a sus­pected shark.

Po­lice say wit­nesses saw the float­ing tur­tle and swam out to see if it was dead but when they were around 10-15m away it was at­tacked.

Hart­ley’s Croc­o­dile Ad­ven­tures wildlife man­ager Drew Melville said the cir­cum­stances meant it was more likely a shark than a croc­o­dile re­spon­si­ble.

“It’s com­mon for sharks to scav­enge from the car­casses of large fish and tur­tles that are float­ing in coastal seas,” he said.

“But keep in mind it would have only been a 1-1.5m shark, they would re­main sub­merged be­cause most sharks have very sharp cut­ting edge of teeth they can ac­tu­ally sheer pieces off.

“A larger shark would’ve just pulled it un­der.”

Surf Lifesaving re­gional man­ager Colin Sparkes cau­tioned peo­ple to be aware of their sur­round­ings and swim be­tween the safety flags.

“We do have sharks and we do have crocs - its part and par­cel of liv­ing in trop­i­cal par­adise,” Mr Sparkes said. “Swim be­tween the flags so if some­thing like this hap­pens we (surf life­savers) can do some­thing about it, if you are too far away we can’t help.”

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