Updated: 2/25/2015 @ 9:35am
Great White Sharks are not something most think of while enjoying the coast at Ocean Shores in Washington, yet authorities are telling people be aware of their surroundings while swimming, fishing or whatever it is people do in the cold waters off this small coastal town on the Pacific Ocean.
On February 19th, a local resident of Ocean Shores was walking down the beach when they found a seal, bitten in half. After a few days of study by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, it was determined that a great white shark had bitten the seal in half.
According to a report from Q13 Fox of Seattle,
The DFW said it is warning local authorities, state parks and dive shops in the area that a great white shark is likely present in the Ocean Shores area. The Ocean Shores Police Department said, however, that they are not posting signs to keep people out of the water.
Typically, Great White Shark encounters are more common in the warmer waters off of California, but sightings off the Washington Coast do occur nearly every year. I searched the internet for the image of the severed seal, and finally found one. Take a look at the seal’s face, which is shockingly not expressing a look of fear and confusion that I was expecting. The seal was supposedly swimming close to the shore in the warmer waters when it was cut in two.
Stories like this help serve as a reminder to please be careful off the coast at all times. While sharks are present, visitors to the coast need to be just as aware of rip-tides, driftwood and the effects on the human body from the cool water. Sharks may be lurking off the coast, but attacks like this on the seal are rare. Go to the beach, enjoy the waters and try not to hum the theme to Jaws too much.
UPDATED: A second seal bitten in half has been found, and the remains have been sent to California to be studied. Link: http://www.kxro.com/second-seal-found-near-ocean-shores-with-possible-shark-bite/
Updated again: The second seal was apparently killed by getting caught in a fishing net, via @ Q13 Fox News: http://q13fox.com/2015/02/25/2nd-dead-seal-on-washington-coast-wasnt-killed-by-shark/