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Surprise! Greedy gannets get a shock when a SHARK bursts out of a 'bait ball' of sardines they were feasting on (11 Pics)

A spectacular natural spectacle was spotted off the Wild Shore of South Africa when giant sharks interrupted gannets who were preying on a shoal of sardines.
The scene was captured by South African photographer Allen Walker off the Wild Shore of South Africa during the annual sardine run that lasts from May to July.
Dramatic pictures taken from under the water show the fight between the predators, both picking away at the giant schools of sardines desperate to escape.

This shoal of sardines was packed close together for protection - before a hungry shark burst right through the middle

The sardine run is an annual phenomenon along the south and east coast of South Africa

The movement is driven by a seasonal counter-current that brings billions of sardines to South African coastline

From May to July, the sardines stretch out over seven kilometres long spawn in the Agulhas Bank on the southern tip of Africa and move along South Africa's east coast in cooler waters

'The annual sardine run is a great time for a photographer.' said photographer Allen Walker

'it's all about finding the biggest bait ball, one unforgettable moment, and trying to keep your head clear of the diving cape gannets.'

Gannets will fly over 50 miles a day to find shoals of sardines and anchovies, all while competing with dolphins and sharks

These birds are among the fastest and most agile of seabirds around but they risk fatal head and neck injuries by diving into the water at huge speeds

But they risk fatal head and neck injuries by diving into the water at huge speeds

'It's an epic contest to watch and capture. The competition between the animals is fierce.' said photographer Allen Walker

'It was a privilege to witness the bait ball action up close. It was completely insane and I'll never forget it.'

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