Beach-goers at Coronation Beach near Perth in Australia watched as a 4m-long great white shark struggled in the waves about 50m off shore.
Brad Tapper, who witnessed the incident, said that the shark returned to the beach despite efforts of bystanders to tow it back to sea.
Speaking to the Western Australian newspaper Tapper said, “When we spotted it, it was about 50m off shore and we thought it was a diver or something.”
“We went to look at it, it started kicking and thrashing around again so we thought it was time to leave.”
The shark, which officials said had been fitted with an acoustic tag in South Australia earlier this year, was found washed up on the sand on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Western Australia Department of Fisheries said the animal displayed no obvious signs of injury or illness but a large Australian sea lion was lodged in the shark’s throat.
Principal scientist at the Western Australia Department of Fisheries, Rory McAuley, said that the shark may have choked on the large sea lion and his peculiar behaviour could have been in an attempt to dislodge the sea lion from his throat.
“Such a large object may have damaged the shark’s internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death.”
“Alternatively, the shark may have accidentally become stranded in his attempts to get rid of the obstruction.”