Tourists watch as Great White Sharks devour whale carcass
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 9:55 -
Warning: The video footage may be disturbing to some viewers
Tourists visiting a nature reserve in California witnessed a rare encounter in the Santa Barbara Channel last week.
"This morning's passengers were treated to a rare encounter as three Great Whites and about a dozen Blue Sharks feasted on a dead Minke Whale carcass floating in the SB Channel," the Island Packers tour company posted on their Facebook page last Monday.
The company adds that ideal and unusually warm weather conditions allowed for some epic pictures and video footage.
The carcass was floating in the Santa Barbara Channel between Ventura and the Channel Islands National Park.
Officials say the reason for the Minke's death is unknown, adding that a dead whale in the water is an easy snack for Great White Sharks.
Jim Dines with the Natural History of Museum of Los Angeles says once the sharks chomp away at the blubber and flesh from the carcass, it will fall to the bottom of the ocean where it becomes a source of nutrition for different marine life.
Dines told the Los Angeles Times that all the flesh and nutrients on these dead whales helps to act as "mini-islands of habitat."