Great white sharks might be powerful top predators, but there's nothing quite like seeing these large fish out of the water to give you a different perspective on them. That's something a group of divers in South Africa experienced earlier this year when attempting to save a two-metre male shark that stranded off the Gansbaai coast.  
After finding the shark, thought to be a sub-adult, on a local beach, the divers sprang into action to try to re-float the animal. White sharks have to swim continuously to breathe – they belong to a group known as ram ventilators – so pushing them forward in the water can sometimes revive them. (Of course, admirable as the team's intentions were, shark rescues are best left to trained wildlife officials. White sharks might not deserve their maneater reputation, but stressed animals like this one can act unpredictably.)

Sadly, despite the group's best efforts, the shark was too far gone to be saved, likely because of an internal injury. 

"He had a very bloated stomach," the divers wrote on YouTube, noting that the carcass was turned over to local officials for a necropsy. Exactly what ailed the ocean giant remains a mystery, but it's possible that an oversized meal was to blame. White sharks can't choke like humans can, but we do know that these animals can become lethargic after gorging on fur seals or whale carcasses. Any heavy swells in the area may have caused a weighed-down juvenile shark to strand. 

On land, white sharks deteriorate quickly. Without dense salt water to keep them buoyant, their cartilage skeletons and internal organs can buckle under the immense weight of their bodies, which causes irreparable damage. "He also had blood coming out of his anus," the team said. 

Tissue samples obtained during the necropsy on the animal would have alerted officials to the presence of any diseases or environmental factors that could potentailly pose a threat to others sharks and marine life in the area.

It's also worth pointing out that while the video claims just 350-520 great white sharks remain in South Africa's waters, those numbers are based on research that has been contested within the scientific community. Further study is needed to help experts figure out just how threatened these predators are. You can read up more on that here: 
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