A stingray being stalked only inches away by a lemon shark finally managed to ditch the predator when a cloud of sand was kicked up with the shark’s unsuccessful attack, allowing the stingray to remain hidden.
The shark looked around the cloud of sand as the stingray held its breath, so to speak. When the shark eventually swam off, the stingray made a mad dash out of the dirty water and swam the other way.
The encounter captured via drone occurred at a local Key West, Florida, sandbar only accessible by boat. Brett Bertini’s fascinating footage was taken last spring but was just posted Thursday on ViralHog.
Bertini explained the encounter to ViralHog: “When we arrived, we noticed a stingray (a common sight) with a chunk of flesh missing from its face (not as common). The stingray kept coming close to the boat, seeking cover from something. Soon after this, we noticed a large shark fin protruding from the water on the far side of the sandbar, indicating some sort of hunt was occurring.
“I fired up my drone, took it up, and discovered that four lemons sharks were stalking this stingray, and one of them was quite large. The stingray continued wandering around with the sharks on his trail, but nobody was making a move. The stingray was probably smart enough to not make a run for it because sharks typically become more aggressive when prey acts erratically, but the sharks also were hesitant to go in for the kill, probably because they know the stingrays have a deadly barb on their tail for self-defense.
“Eventually, the largest shark began to follow closer and closer until he finally attempted to eat the ray, unsuccessfully as seen in the video. I followed them around for another 20 minutes or so before having to leave, so I never got to see the climax. But I am sure that eventually the sharks most likely got the kill.”