For a lot of animal lovers in Canada, heading to New Brunswick to enjoy a session of whale watching is pretty high up on their bucket list. However, one group of whale watchers experienced a little bit more of ‘the circle of life’ than they perhaps would have liked, after closely witnessing a great white shark attack a seal for lunch. 

This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.

Tourists on-board the Jolly Breeze whale-watching expedition in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, had ventured out on the trip with the hopes of spotting some of the ocean's biggest creatures, keeping their eyes peeled for some whale-fins. However, when the group came across a pod of relaxed seals hanging out near a rock, crew member Erika Head explained, they decided to stop for a look.

It was then that the trip became a little bit too similar to a "predator vs. prey" nature documentary, as a huge shark fin appeared from nowhere, next to the seals. Within moments, the waves were crashing and the seals were panicking, and the crew realized what was happening.

Speaking to CTV News on Friday, Erika Head said, "I was really shocked,” adding, “I wasn't expecting to see that, but it was really fascinating that I got to see that."

Despite the whole incident happening within seconds, one quick-thinking whale watcher managed to capture the hunt on video. The video was soon shared by the official Jolly Breeze Facebook page, who explained to their followers that the footage had actually been captured by a 6-year-old boy!

Jolly Breeze wrote, “Great white shark attack on seals, video! Taken by 6-year-old on the Jolly Breeze Tall Ship tour.”

While the video is pretty awesome for anybody who likes sharks, if you’re a big seal-lover, you might want to look away for… well, the whole thing. 

A senior marine biologist for Island Quest Whale Watching, Nicole Leavitt-Kennedy, told CTV News that the shark in question was huge, expected to be between 12 and 15 feet in length. Despite the rarity of experiencing a shark feeding, Leavitt-Kennedy explained that there are numerous shark species living in the area.

"We have white sharks, basking sharks, blue sharks, porbeagles, threshers, and makos,” says Leavitt-Kennedy. “I'm not going to say they're as common as you would see them every time you go out on the ocean – but they are there."

For those who were lucky enough to witness the shark sighting, Leavitt-Kennedy said it won’t be something they’re likely to ever see again. “It is probably a once in a lifetime thing."

One thing is for sure, we won’t be going swimming in New Brunswick any time soon! 

*Disclaimer: The cover image in this article was used for illustrative purposes only.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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