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Shark Sightings Prompt Beach Closures, Concern on Cape Cod

Beachgoers at Nauset Light saw the shark attack the seal at around 4 p.m. Wednesday

Officials say two Cape Cod beaches closed after visitors spotted a great white shark biting a seal and spitting it back out onto the beach.

Beachgoers at Nauset Light saw the shark attack the seal around 4 p.m. Wednesday, which resulted in a pool of blood. The seal was then thrown out of the water onto the beach, where it died.

"A lifeguard saw a fin and everyone saw a lot of blood in the water," Leslie Reynolds, chief ranger of the Cape Cod National Seashore, told the Cape Cod Times. "The seal swam to the beach and died."

A one-hour swimming suspension was issued for Nauset Light and Coast Guard beach, due to their close proximity to each other.

Just a day later, what is believed to be a shark was spotted swimming extremely close to the shore of a another Cape Cod beach.

NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan said he was at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Thursday night when he saw what appeared to be a shark near the shore. He shot video of its fin cutting through the water a short distance from the beach.

Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries says the shark in Hanrahan's video was most likely a basking shark.

The sightings come one week the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy spotted 17 to 19 sharks off the Massachusetts coast in a single research trip. 

Great white sharks have been spotted on the Cape in increasing numbers in recent years due to the large number of seals, a primary food source.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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