Watch This Seal Flip the Script on a Shark and Take It Out as the Hunter Becomes the Hunted

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 25, 2023
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This extraordinary footage has captured an event that has been documented by scientists for a few years. It captures what looks like a Cape fur seal attacking and killing a blue shark. This behavior was first spotted by divers off the coast of South Africa and this particular clip was captured by kayakers in waters off Simonstown, Cape Town, South Africa. It shows a seal aggressively tossing a small shark around. As the clip at the bottom of this page shows, the predator-prey relationship is very dependent on size! Scroll down to see the unique phenomenon and find out why it is happening.

Cape Fur Seals Attacking Blue Sharks

There are plenty of clips online of seals being violently killed by sharks. Seals are the staple prey of many shark species because they provide plenty of nutrition. However, the tables can sometimes be turned. Scientists have spotted multiple Cape fur seal attacks on blue sharks off the coast of South Africa. The seals seem to be attacking medium-sized blue sharks and eating their intestines (which contain the most calories) but leaving the rest of the carcass. Usually, seals hunt smaller fish and this seems to be a recent change in their behavior.

This phenomenon could be bad news for blue sharks whose populations are already challenged. Scientific studies into this behavior have been published and further research will be needed to establish exactly what is going on.

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What Do Cape Fur Seals Normally Eat?

Cape fur seal in Hermanus Harbour, South Africa

Cape fur seals are generalist hunters.


Cape fur seals, or South African fur seals, are carnivores and generalist hunters. Their diet consists of fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and the occasional seabird. Two-thirds of their diet is made up of hakes, horse mackerel, sardines, anchovies, chokka squid, and lobster. This put them in direct competition with humans!

These guys find all of their food in the ocean and therefore need to be able to swim below the surface to considerable depths. They can spend just over two minutes under the water but have been seen spending up to seven minutes when necessary!

What Do Blue Sharks Normally Eat?

The blue shark in this clip is a young individual because adults can grow up to 11 feet in length! They usually live in temperate and tropical oceans and are easy to spot because of their striking blue color. Blue sharks are slender and beautiful animals and are often found in aquariums.

They mainly feed on squid and pelagic schooling fish including herring. However, they have also been seen feeding on the carcasses of whales and turtles. They normally live to around 15 years but sadly this individual is not going to make it anywhere near that long!

See the Incredible Clip Below

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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