Dog attacked and killed by shark in Nova Scotia during duck hunting trip

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A duck hunter’s dog was bitten by a shark during a hunting expedition off the coast of Medway Head in Nova Scotia on Thursday.

The dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Pepper, died shortly after.

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While rare, sharks have been known to attack dogs in the coastal waters in Atlantic Canada.

The attack occurred around 9 a.m. on Thursday, according to SaltWire Network, a Nova Scotia newspaper company. The hunter, who declined to be identified, had been out duck hunting in his boat on Thursday morning.

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The hunter had shot a duck, and Pepper jumped off the boat to retrieve the duck.

“I have been on the ocean hunting sea ducks for years, and I am familiar with many other local hunters that do the same,” the hunter said in a written statement to SaltWire. “When the ocean is calm and the ducks fall near the boat it is common practice to send a dog into the ocean to retrieve the waterfowl. This is what these dogs are bred and trained for.”

The hunter said the shark “erupted from below” Pepper, lifted her into the air and pushed her under the surface.

“It happened so quickly and was so shocking that even though I was looking right at her when it happened, I cannot say for certain what type of shark it was,” the hunter told SaltWire.

Pepper swam back to the boat with “grievous” wounds, the hunter said, but she died after being hauled to safety. The hunter said this is the first time he’s ever heard of a dog being attacked by a shark while hunting from a boat.

Art Gaetan of Atlantic Shark Expeditions told SaltWire that the shark, which the hunter estimated was around 2.4 metres in length, was probably a juvenile great white shark, which come to feed on the abundant seal population.

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“There’s no other sharks here, this close in at this time of the year,” Gaetan said.

When reached by National Post, Gaetan explained that this sort of attack is common with deer. The dog, in this case, was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time, Gaetan told SaltWire. In these cases, he said, the sharks don’t generally eat the other animal, but the attacked animal often dies of blood loss.

“They don’t like the taste,” he said. “They’re not as vicious as you think they are.”

Clair Chandler, a volunteer at the Brooklyn Marina in Liverpool Bay, posted about the attack on the marina’s Facebook page because the local community is worried about it.

“That’s why I posted it; they should be,” Chandler told SaltWire.

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Originally posted 2023-10-19 21:38:38.