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SHARK WHISPERER; EX-FISHERMAN BRAVES KILLER JAWS TO INTERACT WITH GREAT WHITES.

WE'VE heard of trout tickling but this is just ridiculous!

Former fisherman turned shark whisperer Andre Hartman put this fearsome-looking, 16ft great white into a dream-like trance for US photographer Doug Perrine, who captured these amazing images off Cape Province, in South Africa.

Hartman attracts the maneaters to the surface using bait then hypnotises them by stroking their super-sensitive snouts.

Sharks' noses are loaded with nerve endings - using their highly developed sensory system, they can home in on the scent of a seal colony from TWO MILES away.

Rubbing their snouts like Andre is doing is said to overload that sensory system.

Snapper Doug said: "The shark seemed to enter a pleasant but confused state.

"It was dreamily seeking the source of the stimulus, so there was no trigger for it to attack anything."

Andre is a former spear fisherman who had many encounters with great whites while free-diving in the waters off Cape Province.

Marine experts say great whites are naturally intelligent, curious creatures and have been given a bad press due to movies such as Jaws. Doug added: "Although initially terrified of them, Andre has learned that sharks are not usually out hunting people.

"It's possible to interact with them with little danger once you understand how they communicate and react."

CAPTION(S):

FISH FINGERS J Andre calms the fearsome great white by gently stroking its super-sensitive snout
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 20, 2012
Words:230
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