Shark killed seal off Norfolk beach

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A mutilated seal found on a north Norfolk beach was killed by a giant shark, The Sun has reported.

The dead Grey seal, which has a very large bite-shaped chunk missing from its side, was found by a Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) crew after it washed up on their slipway in Sheringham, Norfolk.

The Sun claims that experts have confirmed that the seal "a favourite food of Great whites, had been mauled in a frenzied feeding session."

Lifeboatman Chris Taylor told The Sun: "You can see the serrated tooth marks. There are large basking sharks around here, but they have no teeth. This is very different.

"It is a very clean cut, and from the size of the chunk, and the serrated tooth marks, it must be something with a very large bite radius like a Great white.

"The position of the bite mark is also crucial. The seal was bitten from underneath, which is exactly what you would expect because of how a shark takes its prey."

Dr Ken Collins of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton was reported by The Sun as stating that the bite was the work of a large predator and said the killer could have been a Great white.

"There is no reason why there wouldn t be great white sharks off the coast. They live in water with similar temperatures, and eat grey seals."

The Sun reported that sightings of sharks off Cornwall in the summer of 2007 may have been Great whites. (See Shark spotted hunting dolphins off Cornwall)

However, although some experts suggested that this was plausible, others said it was highly unlikely as they are extremely rare. (See Second sighting of Cornwall's 'Great White')

At the time, the Information Officer at the National Marine Aquarium, Douglas Herdson, told Practical Fishkeeping online:

"There is no reason why white sharks could not be in British waters, except that they are extremely rare (and consequently a protected species).There is no question of them getting commoner here with climate change (aka global warming).

"Their temperature range is 6 to 28 degrees Celsius, and they have been found in Alaska. Conditions in Britain are fine for them correct temperatures, plenty of fish and even seals if they fancy a change of diet. They are simply too rare to be likely to turn up in the south west.

"It is not impossible but extremely unlikely that there is a White Shark in British waters and even if there is there is no need to be worried."