It was an unprecedented feeding frenzy this weekend in the San Francisco Bay for a great white shark.
Some visitors on a tour boat circling Alcatraz Island caught on camera what appears to be a great white shark eating a sea lion or seal at about noon on Saturday, while blood swirls in the salty bay waters.
Meredith Coppolo Shindler, an apparent tourist on Alcatraz Cruises, posted the video on YouTube and by Monday, it had been viewed more than 160,000 times. A little boy who a woman calls Keaton can be heard in the background shouting, "That's a great white!" he shouts. "Holy crud!"
U.S. & World
The boy's excitement can't be contained: "It's Jaws! It's Jaws!" he continues, belting out the theme song to the shark cult film. Then he adds: "That's the best thing I've ever seen in my life."
“This is the first recorded predation event I know in the San Francisco Bay," David McGuire, director of the San Francisco based shark conservation group Shark Stewards and Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “It definitely looks like a white shark, about 8-10 feet from the phone video sent to us. The tourists were pretty excited.”
McGuire told NBC Bay Area he thought the prey was most likely a sea lion, but he couldn't tell for sure.
Although there is no record of an attack on humans inside the bay, great white sharks have been observed there on several occasions, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 2009.
The only documented white shark fatality in San Francisco came on May 7, 1959, when Albert Kogler Jr., 18, died while swimming in less than 15 feet of water after he was attacked off Baker Beach, about one mile west of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Shark Stewards conservation group.
But seeing sharks is no reason to fear, McGuire said, but a reason to cheer.
“For me its pretty exciting and a sign that the health is returning to the San Francisco Bay ecosystem," he said.