RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – A Florida diver spent 45 minutes with a pregnant bull shark hovering nearby and not only did he survive the up-close encounter unscathed -- he’s got the now-viral photos to prove it.
Capt. John Moore, 55, is an experienced diver and photographer who doesn’t shy away from finned creatures. So when a bull shark came swimming his way during a recent adventure, he seized the moment.
“She was kinda unique that she came powering right up through the other bulls. She was super dominant, just kind of right in the forefront of everything. She was swimming right up to my mask and just kind of sizing up what was going on out there and she was just so impressive,” Moore said.
The photos show the soon-to-be mother shark munching on bait for more than half an hour. The other divers in the snapshots are dwarfed in comparison.
“She looked like she was ready to pop, she was almost, like, round she was so big,” Moore said.
The pictures offer detailed views of the apex predator’s razor-sharp teeth and glimmering gold eyes.
“A lot of people hear the word bull shark and they think scary intimidating predator. I don’t see them like that at all,” Moore said.
Florida has the highest concentration of large sharks along its surrounding coastline than anywhere else on the east coast.
Bull sharks, which usually travel in packs, are believed to be one of the most aggressive sharks in the ocean.
While they’re known to be large and can weigh more than 1,500 pounds, Moore estimates this pregnant female was even bigger.
To get up close, it takes equal parts courage and experience. Moore hopes his photos will help bring more awareness about the species.
“It really is nothing. What I do I don’t see as being any more dangerous than what a lot of other people do,” Moore said.
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