Video surfaces showing shark attacking seal in Columbia River

Video shows shark biting seal (KATU News still via video courtesy Josh Robb)

A video showing a shark attacking a seal in the Columbia River is making its rounds online.

The less than 2-minute clip was taken Saturday while Washington resident Josh Robb was crab fishing in Astoria.

In the video, you can clearly see the seal briefly surface in the red water. It is not until the end of the clip that you see the shark peek up past the waves.

"We could tell someone was trying to get him from underneath, so we're just looking, looking and finally my father-in-law saw one of the fins come out of the water and he says, 'You guys need to sit down. We got to leave,'" Robb recounted. "And I said, 'No, no, no! Hold on! I got to watch this! How often do you get to see this in the Columbia River?"

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tells KATU their biologists could not tell, conclusively, what type of shark it was, as some experts believe it could be a Great White Shark. Some say it could be a Salmon Shark. The two look similar.

"It's not very often we see sharks in that area of the Columbia River, but it does not mean they are not there" ODFW spokesperson Rick Hargrave said.

Hargrave says there are likely several contributing factors as to why the shark was in the area. Biologists have said with global warming, they are seeing different types of species, not just sharks, showing up closer to shoreline than before because of warmer waters. Robb says the shark sighting happened about 500 to 600 yards from the boat launch.

"I mean, the video doesn't really do it justice. Like I said, that was a big seal and when that shark came out of the water, it was almost as big as our boat," Robb said.

As of Wednesday evening, the video has been shared on social media nearly 2,000 times.

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