Visitors film shark eating shark at public aquarium

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Visitors to the Mall of America's Underwater Adventures Aquarium have filmed a nine foot Sand tiger shark attempting to swallow another shark.

Video footage of the shark attack, which has been posted on the video sharing websites YouTube and LiveLeak, shows the 9'/2.74m long 300lb/136kg Sand tiger shark attempting to swallow a 4.5'/1.37m White tip reef shark.

The Sand tiger shark, called Jesse, was filmed swimming around its Shark Cove exhibit with the White tip reef shark, named Little Shark 54, in its mouth.

Workers at the aquarium apparently learnt of the attack when a boy asked them whether it was feeding day for the sharks. It wasn't supposed to be.

Rescue attemptLater footage shows aquarists above the tank attempting to pull the smaller shark free from the Sand tiger shark's jaws using huge feeding tongs.

In a statement the Aquarium said that staff from its Animal Care Team got into a small boat and used feeding tongs to grab the tail of the smaller shark and pull it free.

Craig Atkins, Leader of the Animal Care Team said: "That White Tip put up quite a fight, but it's really no match for a

300-pound predator like Jesse.

"The White Tip's got scrapes and bite marks along her back, but a shark's skin is like a suit of armor.

"Believe or not, we're enthusiastic the shark will be just fine, the wounds appear to be superficial. She was given an antibiotic injection as a cautionary measure following the attack."

Previous attacksThe Aquarium said that the sharks were conditioned to feed on a schedule each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but said that sharks were still predatory animals and that "sometimes nature happens."

The same Sand tiger shark has also been involved in a previous attack of a smaller tankmate in April 2003.

The Aquarium said: "After a few weeks of being picked and nipped by the smaller Black Tip Reef Sharks, Jesse decided to let them know who was boss.

"With one swift move, Jesse devoured a 5-foot Black Tip almost whole. For a week, the tail of the not-so-fortunate Black Tip hung from Jesse's chops."