07/17/2014 11:17 EDT

Great White At Australia Beach, Chokes On Sea Lion, Draws Admiring Crowd (VIDEO)

Dinner proved fatal for this great white.

A couple of days before a four-metre shark turned up dead on a west Australian shore, beach-goers may have mistaken its death throes for the wonderful spectacle of nature, The Australian reports.

A video, uploaded to YouTube on July 12, shows people lined up at the shore, just metres from the writhing behemoth.

great white shark beach

This shark was found dead two days after it was spotted writhing on an Australian beach

The majestic creature's powerful, convulsive tail-lashings swept wall after wall of water at the onlookers, occasioning the requisite oohs and ahhs. The great white came so close to shore, it momentarily beached itself.

No one, it seems, realized the animal was choking to death.

Although, at least one onlooker noted a certain lack of joy in the flopping giant.

"He's not very happy, is he?"

As Brad Tapper, one of those filming the encounter, explained to the Western Australian, "When we spotted it, it was about 50 metres off the shore. We thought it was a diver or something.

"It was kind of surreal, you're watching it and you don't realize how rare it is at the time until you get home and have a look at the footage."

In a statement, Rory McAuley of Australia's department of fisheries explained the shark had no obvious signs of injury — just a large Australian sea lion stuck in its throat.

“This could explain why the shark was exhibiting such unusual behaviour in shallow waters off Coronation Beach. It’s possible that the shark was trying to dislodge the blockage.

great white shark

"Such a large object may have damaged the shark's internal organs or impeded water flow into his gills, contributing to his death," said McAuley in a statement. "Alternatively, the shark may have accidentally become stranded in his attempts to get rid of the obstruction."

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