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Woman captures graphic photos of shark feasting on a seal off Maine coast

A great white shark that was spotted near Wells Beach in Maine in 2020.Wells (Maine) Police Department

One woman captured the grisly circle of life in action in Maine over the weekend, documenting in a series of epic (albeit graphic) photos a great white shark feasting on a seal.

Over six minutes, Sue Fontaine snapped approximately 80 pictures of the predation as it unfolded in the waters off the Whitehead Island Lighthouse on Sunday.

Fontaine warned in a Facebook post, where she uploaded the images, that what she bore witness to at the southern entrance to the Muscle Ridge Islands was “GRAPHIC” in nature.

While the seal’s head is seen bobbing above the blue waves, the apex predator swims just below the surface as it closes in on the prey, its sharp dorsal fins giving away its presence. In other photos, the splashing of water is caught in real-time as the blood begins to pool around the two animals.

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One person commented that Fontaine was lucky she used her boat that morning instead of paddling out in her kayak. Fontaine responded that the “boat was definitely the right choice, but the sea that morning would be quite inviting!”

Others observed that she had photographed “nature at work” and “the circle of life.” Some wrote simply, “WOW” and “SO COOL!!!!”

The Twitter account MA Sharks, run by shark biologist John Chisholm, highlighted the sighting in a tweet, and thanked Fontaine for reporting it to the Atlantic Shark Conservancy, which tracks white sharks off the coast through its Sharktivity app.

Another gory feast was captured off Pemaquid Point in Bristol on July 7.

Between shark sightings, seal predations, and the surfacing of Bobby E — a white shark first tagged in North Carolina that made its way into Casco Bay this past week — Matt Davis, a marine scientist at the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said Monday the state has recorded 10 or more confirmed events so far this season.

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See some of the photos taken by Fontaine below:


Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.