This photo, taken in 2020 off the coast of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, is one of the first photos of a great white shark in Canadian waters. (File photo)
When the ocean is calm and ducks fall near a boat, it is a common practice to send his dog there to retrieve the game, he wrote in a statement. This is why these dogs are bred and trained.
The dog's owner is also a breeder of Chesapeake Bay retrievers.
Pepper dove into the water, retrieved the duck and was returning to the boat when a large shark appeared. He threw the dog into the air, then pushed it below the surface, the statement read.
It happened so quickly and I was in such shock that I couldn't identify what kind of shark it was, even though it was happening before my eyes.
Pepper then reappeared on the surface and swam towards his master's boat, who pulled him aboard.
She was seriously injured and died shortly after, he said, estimating the shark was about two and a half meters long.
Marine biologist and veterinarian from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Chris Harvey-Clark, says while the incident is unfortunate, it is consistent with the behaviors of great white sharks.
Great white sharks typically roam the ocean floor and scan the surface of the water for their prey, usually marine mammals such as seals.
According to Chris Harvey-Clark, the waters of the south coast of Nova Scotia are a prime location for sharks due to the large population of Atlantic seals found there.
It’s like a buffet, he illustrates.
However, visibility in the waters of this sector is not very good for great white sharks.
They could easily mistake a dog for a small seal, he said, noting that several incidents of these fish hitting the wrong target have been recorded.
For example, a deer swimming between two Nova Scotia islands was attacked by a shark this summer.
According to Chris Harvey-Clark, there are not more sharks in Atlantic waters in recent years, but there are many more people who observed their activities.
The current population of this large fish in the Atlantic is not very clear, he adds.
The incident certainly caused a reaction on the south coast of Nova Scotia.
Port Medway resident James Harnish has been fishing for mackerel in this area since he was a boy. This is the first time he has heard of a shark attack on an animal in the region.
I would tend to say that people will be more careful when it comes to letting their pet walk in the water, says the 67-year-old man.