By: JV Staff
Last Thursday morning on the Jersey Shore was most definitely not a usual one. While the summer tourist season may be slow, it appears that marine wildlife are as active as ever in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A sight that is rarely even seen by human eyes was caught on video and it was not pleasant.
Beachgoers on Brant Beach at Long Beach Island in the middle of the Jersey Shore region were in for a bloody surprise when they were ordered off the beach around 7 am due to an attack by circling sharks on a dolphin. The attack took place fairly close to the shore.
Unconfirmed reports said the dolphin was originally injured by a boat propeller and the bloody wound attracted the maneaters, according to a NY Post report.
The Post also reported that certain types of sharks do occasionally prey on dolphins — great white, bull and tiger sharks — but it is unusual for such an encounter to occur so close to shore.
Robert Schoelkopf, executive director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine told nj.com that such an attack on a defenseless dolphin is not all that uncommon but has hardly ever been captured on video.
On Saturday, Schoelkopf told NJ Advance Media: “That’s what sharks are out there for, to clean the ocean. It’s not the first time an injured, bleeding animal has drawn sharks to it.”
Schoelkopf said early morning beachgoers saw the sharks circling near the shore and alerted beach workers, according to the nj.com report.
Within moments, the sharks were thrashing and blood spread through the ocean water.
The massacre was recorded by Sean Donohue at the 106th street beach, and uploaded the same day to YouTube, according to a report in the NY Post.
Early morning beachgoers evacuated the shallow surf, according to the Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch.
“If you’re standing next to a dolphin while this is going on, you’re going to be in danger,” Schoelkopf said. “It’s just food to a shark. The sharks are not going to know the difference (between a dolphin and human), especially when there’s that much blood.”
NJ.com reported that Schoelkopf said when the attack was over, researchers scoured the shoreline for any remnants of the dolphin but didn’t find any. They were hoping to find bite marks on the dolphin or a dislodged tooth to determine the type of sharks that were involved, he said.
“We never had confirmation,” he said. “Nothing ever washed ashore.”