Do you want to see an expert hunter and apex predator in action? This is the video for you. There is plenty written about the expertise of the great white when it comes to hunting prey but actually getting to see them in action is on another level.

Great Whites as Hunters

At the start of the video, we see a Cape fur seal pup swimming just in front of the camera. It is a cute sight, but they don’t realize that they are entering what is known locally as the kill zone. The location is off Dyer Island, Gansbaai, South Africa. Within seconds, we find out why the area got its name. A great white shark looms into view behind the little seal, accompanied by the gasps of the people on the boat.

There is another short sequence of the unsuspecting seal frolicking in the water and then the attack starts. The great white flicks its huge body out of the water behind the seal creating a giant wave. But it hasn’t worked! We see the seal emerging through the white foam- sadly the relief is short-lived. The shark attacks again from below, with deadly accuracy, and that is the last we see of the little seal.

Great whites are apex predators and hunt seals, dolphins, and sea lions. They use power, speed, and shock tactics to hunt their prey, often from below.

Great White Shark
Great whites are apex predators and hunt seals, dolphins, and sea lions.

Tomas Kotouc/

Cape Fur Seal Habitat and Behavior

Cape fur seals (also known as brown seals) are marine mammals that breathe air but spend a lot of time in the water. This can involve spending months at a time at sea. They can spend up to 10 minutes under the water without surfacing and some can dive up to 800 feet but most dive to 100 feet.

They have a thick layer of blubber under their skin that makes them buoyant and insulates them. It also makes them very nutritious for any animal that preys on them. Their predators include killer whales, other seals, and even foxes in some countries, as well as great white sharks.

Female seals are pregnant for 12 months and give birth to a single pup that weighs between 11 and 13 pounds. The pup can swim and walk on land from birth. Seals feed on fish, squid, and birds and live for up to 18 years, provided they do not end up as a meal for a great white!

Next Up:

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Leave a comment