A mutilated grey seal found washed up on a lifeboat slipway in Norfolk may have been attacked by a great white shark, experts have claimed.
Lifeboatman Chris Taylor, who has a biology degree and studied sharks, found the seal’s body in Sheringham.
Mr Taylor, 35, said: “The wound looks like a large shark bite from below – you can see the serrated tooth marks.”
Dr Ken Collins, of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, said it could be a great white shark attack.
Mr Taylor, who found the carcass of the 4ft (1.2m) adult seal on Sunday, told BBC News the wound to the seal bears all the hallmarks of a great white attack.
“Seals hit by boat propellers have a zipper-like pattern across the top of the neck because they don’t swim upside down – but this seal was hit from below which is how sharks attack their prey,” he said.
“The bite measures over a foot (0.3m) across so I don’t know what else could have taken a chunk of this size.”
Mr Taylor sent photographs of the carcass to Dr Collins who confirmed the injury is likely to be a large shark bite.
Great white sharks live in water with similar temperatures to those in the North Sea and eat grey seals.
Mr Taylor continued: “I was sceptical at first but I can’t think what else it could be.”
He stressed a great white would not become “resident” in Sheringham as the water is too shallow.
The find follows a series of shark sightings off the Cornish coast.
Footage of a shark off St Ives is now thought to have been a porbeagle shark rather than a great white.