But it seems that the sharks knew well the danger lurking around them, and changed their behavior to avoid their dark end.
According to Michelle Jewell, an ecologist at the Michigan State University Museum, to the Canadian magazine Hakai, which specializes in scientific reports, the number of sharks on the beaches where they were being killed declined at a very rapid rate that was unheard of, which led to many theories being put forward.
As time passed and she did not appear again on the same beach dead, it became clear that she was hiding somewhere else, in an attempt to avoid danger and save her life, according to a new study published in the October issue of the journal “Environmental Indicators.”
By following up on reports, scientists found that sharks in South Africa had moved further east, such as Algoa Bay and the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Jewell said: “We know that predators have a significant impact on the behavior of their prey so this is not surprising. Scientists looked at possible main explanations, including low prey numbers in the area where sharks disappeared, and rapid reproduction in areas where sharks have been reported. “Lots of new shark sightings.”
Ultimately, the scientists concluded that the most likely explanation was that “the great white sharks fled to avoid continued killer whale attacks.”
Scientists explained that their conclusion is supported by the behavior of white sharks in other parts of the world.
In North America, for example, specifically in the southeastern Farallon Islands, sharks have been recorded escaping fishing areas after the appearance of killer whales.
Although many believe that great white sharks are predatory fish, this study is a vivid example of the saying: “There is always a bigger fish,” in reference to killer whales.
The study stated that “the indirect effect of predation, or fear of predation, profoundly affects animal behavior.”