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Paradise Bay shark encounter film ‘is a fake’

The shark seen in the footage

The shark seen in the footage

A Youtube clip posted by a young tourist showing a close encounter with a Great White Shark in Paradise Bay is a fake, according to shark expert Alex Buttigieg.

The clip, which was posted on the popular video sharing site yesterday, features a pair of tourists out in the bay on a rented kayak. At one point, the camera is submerged for a few moments and a large shark immediately comes in view, apparently swimming by the side of the kayak. The camera is pulled out of the water and the clip stops there.

The footage has already made the rounds on Facebook, accompanied by a stream of agitated commentary.

But the clip is clearly a fake, according to Alex ‘Sharkman’ Buttigieg, who pointed out to timesofmalta.com, that the shark in view was actually filmed in South Africa.

The original clip (9 Foot Great White Shark Circles Kayak) was posted on Youtube in August 2010, and shows an extended sequence of the same shark footage which appears on the video purporting to be from Paradise Bay.

“It’s clear that the underwater footage was lifted from the clip in South Africa added to the bit from Paradise Bay” Mr Buttigieg said emphatically.

The person who posted the clip, under the pseudonym Casoidon, claimed the footage had been shot in Malta this summer but that he or she never actually watched the film before now.

“After I have not even watched what camera recorded.
I was very surprized when I checked the recording and I saw the shark underwater. Unbeliveable, shark in Malta!”

The Mediterranean is host to a number of shark species but sightings of this kind, so close to shore are extremely rare.

The last claim of such a sighting close to shore came in August of 2010, when a 35-year-old windsurfer claimed a three-metre long shark had circled his surfboard for 45 minutes off St Elmo and bit off a piece of his sail, which was in the water.

Shark experts had also expressed scepticism in relation t this incident, particularly because of the length of time the shark reportedly spent near the man. When they do attack, sharks usually bite and leave.

Paradise Bay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd2nt76HvFk

South Africa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5UzMcHw1n0

 

 

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