After many heartfelt goodbyes and promises of reunions from the departing September interns, the remaining three interns (Victoria, Beverly and Simone) welcomed the next batch of interns to the SAMPLA family Wednesday afternoon.
They definitely have some big shoes to fill! However, if first impressions are any measure of character, we’re sure that each of the new interns will bring the same level of enthusiasm and work ethic to the SAMPLA team.
The new interns certainly started their first week with a bang! Not only were both the Thursday and Friday chum trips lucky enough to spot not one, but two 5 meter sharks (a rarity in Mossel Bay), they all got a little taste of celebrity.
A journalist from BBC World News recently approached SAMPLA to do a piece on the unique interaction between white sharks and people (or rather lack thereof) despite their relative proximity to each other here in Mossel Bay. The journalist observed two chumming trips to get some general footage of what we do on the boat as white shark researchers, as well as catch the bite meter in action, recording the bite strength of the shark. He took several action shots of the interns performing their respective duties, much to the delight of those lucky enough to score some possible air time in the upcoming program. With regards to the bite meter scene, SAMPLA director Enrico Gennari and his team were rewarded with some success. Unfortunately this was only an investigatory bite, no stronger than that of the average human compared to the impressive bite force that white sharks are capable of. This really goes to show that white sharks are conscious predators, only seldom “going for the kill”.
The SAMPLA team is now eagerly awaiting their silver screen debut on BBC next week!