Incredible drone footage (watch below) has captured the scene as a pod of dolphins appear to chase a Great White away from Plettenberg Bay, where two fatal shark attacks have taken place this year, the most recent just over a fortnight ago. Thirty-eight year old Cape Town mom and restaurant owner Kimon Bisogno was tragically attacked and killed by a Great White shark as she swam, close to shore, during a short holiday break.
The video footage shows a 10-foot hunting shark moving in the same waters that are popular with swimmers and surfers, and where Kimon lost her life.
Probably uncomfortable with the sharks’ presence, the pod of 15 dolphins swim out to intercept and surround the predator, and make it very clear that it is unwelcome.
One plucky dolphin even swims directly over the Great White’s back as a warning, and the shark – realising that its cover is blown – gets the message and swims off.
According to Sea World, “Dolphins have even been known to protect humans in danger of sharks.”
Marine mammal scientist Dr Gwen Penry, 40, of the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth said:
“Dolphins can be very aggressive when they need to be.
“They are not always the happy and smiling animals that people believe but are also top predators and can be very aggressive around big sharks.
“The Great White knows it is no match for the far more manoeuvre-able and faster dolphins in shallow water and will not waste its energy on them.
“The dolphins are letting the shark know it has been seen and that they are there and just making it clear that it would be wiser to move off elsewhere.”
Plettenberg Bay has been hit by two Great White killings in less than four months on their normally safe shores, with the latest being Kimon – known to all as Kiki.
She and her Italian-born partner of 14 years Diego had driven from Cape Town to the Garden Route resort, staying at the seaside Beacon Island Hotel for Heritage Day weekend.
Kiki had gone for a 7.30am dip, as Diego got their daughter Luna ready for the beach, when a relative called him to say that a big shark had attacked her.
The estimated 13-foot long Great White had bitten her just once but sadly it was enough to kill petite Kimon, and her body was recovered by a lifeboat crew. Friends described her as “truly one of the best humans. It’s a sad loss for the world.”
This week Diego spoke to YOU family magazine in South Africa, revealing his last haunting moments with the mother of his child, and how he ignored the pleas of rescuers to not go and look at Kimon’s body.
He recounted that before her swim, “I gave her this beautiful kiss. And that was the last time I saw her. She was so beautiful. She was wearing her red swimming costume.
“She couldn’t wait and I told her that I would be down soon,” he said.
Diego got a panic call in the room and said: ”It was just a bit of a blur. I rushed down and was told a shark had attacked Kiki. And that was the way she went.”
When the lifeboat crew recovered Kimon they warned him not to go to her. He told YOU magazine:
“I didn’t care. I wanted to be there. And when she came out she was so beautiful despite her injuries. She died a quick death.
“She looked so lovely when they pulled her out and the images of her weren’t horrifying.”
Diego said he “made peace with the sea” before he left the resort.
”We put flowers on the beach to commemorate the place where she died. Life is unfair. Lots of things happen which we can’t change, so we have to accept it.
“She always had a smile on her face. She would not have wanted us to grieve but to celebrate her,” he said after returning to their Cape Town pizzeria.
Former lifeboatman Bruce Noble of the Plett Shark Action Committee said that judging by the bite wound on Kimon the Great White was 13 feet long.
He said that more lifeguards had been moved into the area along with shark spotters at high vantage points, and a number of drones are now in use.
Mr Noble said: “Sharks come with the territory but very rarely attack, and we have been very unfortunate to have two fatal attacks in a short space of time.”
In June, married father and stockbroker Bruce Woloy – an acclaimed long-distance swimmer and keen snorkeller – was swimming at Sanctuary Beach in Plett when he was attacked and killed by a shark.
Mr Noble said: “Measures have been taken to keep our tourists and locals safe from sharks and we constantly monitor their activity and presence on our beaches.”
Great Whites grow up to 20 feet long, can weigh over 2 tonnes and have up to 300 razor sharp serrated teeth arranged in rows, which give their prey little escape.
In the last 25 years, 37 swimmers and surfers have been killed in shark attacks off South Africa with 10 of those unfortunate victims coming in the last decade. However there are far more shark attacks in other places. According to Florida Museum, the US has the most unprovoked shark attacks with 47 confirmed cases last year, making up 64% of the global total; Australia had 12 unprovoked attacks, while Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa each had three sharks attacks (with one fatality each) in 2021.
According to Sea World, sharks are apparently a little fearful of dolphins, not just because they’re more flexible, but apparently they use their snouts (made of strong bone) like battering rams to “jab into the soft underbelly of the shark causing serious internal injuries”.
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WATCH Dolphins circling Great White Shark, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube/Xmierx