Local News

‘Literally in front of us’: Family films as shark devours seal near shore on Cape

"HORRIFIC to watch but couldn’t turn away!!!"

Diane Bair
Signs like this one at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod warn beach-goers about sharks. If you see seals in the water, get out — seals are shark food. You don’t want to end up in danger due to a case of mistaken identity. Diane Bair

It was a memorable Fourth of July for at least one woman and her family who happened to capture the moment a shark was feeding off a seal near the shore of a Cape Cod beach Monday night.

Kim Reilly was celebrating the holiday with her family at Nauset Outer Beach in Orleans when they spotted a shark attacking a seal around the time the sun was setting at about 8:30 p.m.

Reilly shared the video that she recorded publicly on Facebook, noting “Quite the 4th of JULY!!” and commenting later that the experience was “surreal.”

She told one commenter, “you can see in part of the video where the wave is breaking, it was VERY VERY VERY close!!!”


At one point in the video, she exclaims, “Literally in front of us!”


Reilly said the kids had spent the day in the water, enjoying the beach for the holiday. She wrote to another commenter that the scene of the seal being devoured was “HORRIFIC to watch but couldn’t turn away!!!”

The sighting was confirmed by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy on its Sharktivity app.

Shark sightings have become increasingly common off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island – especially along the Cape, where great white sharks are often found feeding on seals.

A recent report by The Boston Globe noted that an increase in the amount of tools that scientists have to track these animals could be one of the reasons for rising numbers.

Watch Reilly’s video below:


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com