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Trip Report South Africa, A Great White Education

Most of us have been fascinated at one time or another by one of the most mysterious and feared animals on the planet, The Great White Shark. My visit to the fishing village of Gansbaai near “Shark Alley” gives me an opportunity to learn more about this awesome creature.

My education begins at White Shark Eco-adventures and I really enjoy the sometimes comical discussion about The Great White. Maybe unnecessarily feared by most humans, our encounters with Great White are primarily just exploratory on their part.

Since they have no hands the only way they can touch us is by taking a little curiosity bite. Unfortunately, for us they have a different definition of little and I don't think they understand the concept of nibbling.

Although it is true that The Great White has a keen sense of smell they often use other means to locate prey. From about 100 meters away, in the right conditions, they can determine whether or not something is worthwhile pursuing.

Most sharks have no preference for humans or things that are not a part of their natural environment. Human attacks are believed to be caused by juvenile sharks that don't know any better. Not surprising, even sharks have problem teenagers.

In case you are worried about a Great White finding you or attacking you because you are bleeding while swimming, we are told it is better to already be bleeding before the shark gets there. Interestingly, your bleeding may tell the Great White that you are not worth going after.

However, this opinion may not be shared by other sharks especially if they don't have any hands.

Although I am now a bit more educated about The Great White, I hope it won't be upset if I stick to hanging out with my Land Shark friends, especially the cold brewed ones.


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