February 22, 2014

Brave photographer captures close-ups of shark at Bahamas (VIDEO) - @NatGeo

A hammerhead shark can be seen opening its jaws wide as it tries to take a bite out of an underwater camera off the coast of Bimini in the Bahamas
This is the terrifying moment a hammerhead shark tried to take a bite out of a camera on the ocean floor.

The close encounter was captured by brave wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum, 63, during an expedition off the coast of Bimini in the Bahamas.

The 14ft shark can be seen opening its jaws wide as it swims toward him - revealing a fearsome set of razor-sharp teeth. 

It then clamps its enormous mouth around the metal camera, before swimming away without doing any lasting damage. 

Mr Nachoum, from Israel, and his crew captured a number of other hammerhead sharks - which can grow up to 20ft long and weigh as much as 450kg - during the expedition.

The photographer, who has been leading wildlife trips for more than 40 years, said he got a thrill when one of the creatures approached his camera. 

'When the shark came to bite my camera I thought, "do it", I was very excited,' he said. 'From my experience, I knew that as soon as the shark sensed the hard metal on the camera it would let it go.

'It was not used to it, its animal instinct is to bite on the flesh of a fish, not on hard metal.'

However, while the encounter might have given others the scare of their life, the photographer said he found it 'incredible'. 

'It is a very high charged event - there is no time to be scared,' he said. 'The sharks never made any threatening approach towards me or my clients.

'We have a trained shark handler with us at all times and we bait and feed the sharks in a safe manner.'

The hammerheads stayed in the area for about four hours - allowing the fearless divers the chance to capture close-ups of the giant animals. 

Speaking after the expedition, Mr Nachoum, who has swam with Great Whites and Tiger sharks all over the world, said he hoped to change people’s negative perceptions of sharks.

'It is an awesome feeling to be able to dive peacefully with animals that have such an undeserved "bad" reputation,' he said. 

'I’d like people to understand that a shark’s presence in the ocean is critical to the water's health and longevity.'

Mr Nachoum owns Big Animals Expeditions and runs photo tours via his website www.biganimals.com.

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