Photos Show Great White Shark That Died While Choking on Turtle, Says Fisherman

April 23, 2019 Updated: April 23, 2019

Warning: This article contains graphic images that some readers may find disturbing.

A large great white shark was seen choking to death on a turtle near the shores of Japan, it was reported.

Greg Vella posted the images to a Facebook group for commercial fishermen.

“I was out (sic) commercial ‘ken ken’ style fishing for tuna (Japan, Pacific Ocean side) when I heard chatter on the radio that there was a white shark swimming around with a big sea turtle in is (sic) mouth,” Vella wrote.

While viewing the large fish, “People started to joke about it, so I did not pay it any more attention,” Vella continued. “Then next day, it was found dead, near the bait receivers, tangled in some netting.”

“The captains I interviewed who saw the mighty shark the day before said it looked close to death, as it could not dislodge the giant turtle,” he said.

The fishermen, Vella added, were “bummed” because great white sharks don’t “bother their commercial fishing, and most certainly do bother the things that eat our catch.”

In all, the shark weighed about 4,500 pounds, he said.

Shark attack in cape cod 2018
A file image of a great white shark swimming past a maritime vessel. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Other details about the shark are not clear.

Photos of the giant shark have been shared thousands of times in several days.

Great White Facts

Great whites can average more about 15 feet in length, but some have reached 20 feet in length, according to Animal Fact Guide. They also can reach 5,000 pounds, meaning that the one that choked on a turtle is a larger specimen.

A file image of a great white shark swimming past a maritime vessel. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“Great white sharks are blue-gray on the dorsal, or top, part of their bodies. This helps them blend in with the bottom of the ocean when viewed from above. The belly, or ventral, part of the body, is white. This makes it difficult to see the sharks from below, with sunlight shining in around them. They have strong, torpedo-shaped bodies and powerful tails that help them swim. Great whites can reach speeds up to 24 km/hr (15 mph),” the website says.

Meanwhile, only orcas and larger sharks can pose a risk to great whites.

“They are sometimes caught by accident in fishing nets or intentionally sought out by sport fisherman. Their jaws and fins are sold for considerable amounts of money,” the website says.

great white shark with mouth open
A great white shark in a file photo. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“Great whites spend their time in temperate waters all over the world, although they have been known to make brief trips into colder water in the north. They live in the upper part of the ocean, towards the surface, and close to the shore, where sunlight shines through and prey is available,” the site says.

The IUCN’s Red List said the great white is “vulnerable” and may be marked as “endangered.”

According to, “Male great white sharks generally arrive at the same time to the Farallon Islands off the California Coast and the offshore Island of Guadalupe, Mexico, from late July through August, and females arrive to these locations several weeks thereafter. These sharks are observed at their coastal aggregation sites through February.”