A horrific video shows a porpoise attacked by a great white shark almost getting beached while bleeding heavily from its bite wound.
In the clip, the injured porpoise flails its tail fin wildly while stuck on its side in the wet sand.
The stricken animal’s blood is seeping into the water around it, turning the sea red.
“Oh my God!” someone says in the background.
Thrashing around in the water, the porpoise manages to submerge itself deeper and swims back into the ocean while still bleeding.
The dramatic video was recorded by Lilly Patterson at Chappy’s East Beach in Massachusetts, US.
Greg Skomal, a shark expert with Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, told The Martha’s Vineyard Times that the evidence pointed to a great white shark attack.
Although a shark isn’t visible in the footage, Skomal’s team looked at individual frames from the footage and found a crescent-shaped bite wound in the porpoise’s flesh.
This was “indicative of really sharp cutting teeth,” he said.
Skomal also said that a killer whale or mako were unlikely culprits.
“We don’t expect a mako to be that close to the beach,” he said.
“We have to assume it would be a great white shark,” he said, adding that they are known to hunt porpoises although an attack like this is not normally caught on video.
Calling it a “rare sighting”, he said most of what is known about great white sharks hunting porpoises is through analysing the stomach contents of the apex predators.
It looks good for the porpoise overall, with Skomal saying it was not a “mortal wound” that was inflicted.
Great white sharks gained something close to a legendary status off the coast of Massachusetts following the huge success of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws in 1975, which was set on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
The region is known to have real-life sightings, with footage surfacing last year of a gigantic 30ft shark swimming lurking off the coast.