The nine-foot white pointer shark emerged from the waters off the Queensland coast with an eye-popping wound: two gigantic bite marks that nearly split it in two. What could possibly be large enough to have a jaw that big?
Experts say it’s likely a monster shark measuring at least 15 feet in length. The smaller white pointer shark was attacked by its gigantic rival while snared on a baited drumline off North Stradbroke Island, east of Brisbane.
The drumlines and shark nets set off popular Cylinder, Main and Deadman's beaches are fairly effective at keeping dangerous sharks away from swimmers and surfers, but at a great cost to whales, dolphins and other marine life.
Still, the number of sharks caught in the nets recently has government officials convinced that the traps are necessary.
Since the shark net and drumline program was introduced 47 years ago there has been only one fatal shark attack despite reports of increased shark activity in the area.
The discovery of the mauled shark has beachgoers jittery about potential run-ins with the toothy predators. One beach was briefly closed after a reported shark sighting, which turned out to be a harmless manta ray.
Surfer Ashton Smith says he and a friend were spooked by a six-foot shark recently.
"It was quite close to us before we realized it was a shark. We came in (to the beach) because it was hanging around,” he told Australia’s Courier Mail.
"I've heard about the big one lurking. Every surfer is always cautious over here."