A marine biologist based in the Maldives has shared footage showing blacktip reef sharks attacking a stingray in a rarely observed “mob-hunting” event.
As viewers can see, once the stingray became trapped in shallow water, and once the sharks attacked as a group, the outcome was clear.
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Sheridan described the scene in her original post:
“The sharks individually made several attempts at the ray and the ray always escaped. Once the sharks went in together, the ray didn’t stand a chance.
“You can see the sharks are ambushing the ray, trapping it between the deeper water and the beach giving it nowhere to go! The sharks risk beaching themselves to make their kill.”
On Saturday, responding to questions from followers, Sheridan recapped:
— “Did the ray bury itself? No.”
— “Did [the sharks] kill it? Yes, they literally ate and left no crumbs.”
— “Why didn’t I help? It’s nature. It is not for me to intervene. There was no human-driven reason for this attack – the sharks saw a juvenile ray in a vulnerable position and took advantage.
“They are apex predators, it’s what they do. There was absolutely no reason for me to deny them a meal. Also, I’m not sticking my hand in there.”
Blacktip reef sharks are found throughout the Indo-Pacific and inhabit coral reefs and sandy areas near reefs. The sharks prey on a variety of fishes and will occasionally target smaller sharks and rays.