CAPE COD, Mass., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Authorities closed two beaches in Cape Cod this week after visitors spotted a Great White shark take a bite out of a seal and spit it onto the sand, news media reported.
The Great White, known by marine biologists as Carcharodon carcharias, was seen swimming near the Nauset Light House Wednesday -- where it attacked the seal and spit it onto the beach. The encounter left a large pool of blood in the water, witnesses said.
"A lifeguard saw a fin and everyone saw a lot of blood in the water," Leslie Reynolds, chief ranger of the Cape Cod National Seashore, told the Cape Cod Times. "The seal swam to the beach and died."
Authorities issued a one-hour swimming suspension following the sighting, NBC Connecticut reported, which is standard practice.
Nauset Light and Coast Guard beaches were affected by the closure, due to their close proximity to one another, officials said.
Lifeguards at Coast Guard beach suspended swimming after a dorsal fin was spotted near the shoreline. It was later determined the fin belonged to a whale, not a shark.
Scientists say Great White sharks have appeared in the waters off New England with increasing regularity in recent years due to the presence of the seals, which are a prime source of food.