Cautious but curious, Great White comes in to investigate the bait!
Cautiousness is a shrewd move when approaching a strange object. Even small injuries to a Great White Shark have the potential to become life threatening or debilitating which can compromise their ability to hunt. That being said they are incredibly durable animals with an amazing ability to heal themselves. Deep lacerations can often be seen to heal over a few weeks and damaged or missing appendages can be adapted to fairly quickly.
This video was taken at Seal Island in Mossel Bay a harbour town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. You can see other similar behaviour in some of the other clips on the channel.
In the video you see the sub-adult Great White Shark cruise up to the bait cautiously giving it a good visual inspection. The sharks mouth has limited movement and is barely open showing that he is not trying to grab the bait. He is merely following the fishy scent to the curious object floating at the surface. When the bait is pulled back the shark follows it above the surface with his nose before deciding it isn't worth the energy to investigate further and swimming back down deep.
As you can see when the shark passes the camera, there are a few healing scars down his body. These injuries don't seem to have caused the shark any problems and are healing nicely. Even though injuries can potentially cost sharks their life they still have to capitalise on food sources when they come along which means they also have to take risks. Their incredible healing power is an adaptation that has carried Great White Sharks successfully through the last 45 million years.