Dog fights off 12-foot hammerhead shark in full view of tourist boat

Shocking video shows a dog jumping from a dock to take on a 12-foot hammerhead shark while tourists watch in horror. The fearless canine ignored calls to climb out of the water and lunged at the beast as it lurked near the shoreline.

The video was filmed in the Bahamas – a holiday hotspot around 300 miles off the Florida coast. It shows the shadow of the massive mammal swimming by a tour boat.

After the dog – nicknamed Rufus – runs down a dock near the shark and jumps into the water, horrified tourists start screaming ‘Oh my god’.

He is not discouraged and continues to chase the shark, attempting to bite its dorsal fin while the two circle each other.

One rowdy traveler exclaims: “He’s biting the f** shark!”

The dog finally leaves the water safely and runs back towards the dock. Some passengers comment that it looks like it might jump into the water again to chase the shark again before the video ends.

Rebecca Lightbourn from Exuma Water Sports, captured the video from the boat she operates with her crew. The crew do not know the dog’s actual name but have dubbed it Rufus.

“We’re unsure if the dog just wanted to play or wanted to protect his home but he just jumped right in!” she told NBC News via email.

She added: “He managed to splash around and even tried to take a chunk out of his fin, but the shark swam off, pretty unsure of what just happened!”

Ms Lightbourn said that Rufus is a type of domesticated stray known as a Bahamian Potcake and is a pet of someone who lives on the island.

The tour passes the island twice a day and passengers are regularly greeted by Rufus from the land.

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The video was posted to YouTube with the title ‘Dog vs Hammerhead’ and has been viewed more than 20,000 times.

Although generally considered harmless, humans are advised to avoid contact with hammerhead sharks as they can attack when disturbed.

There has never been a fatal attack recorded by a hammerhead shark on a human, although non-fatal attacks have occurred.

Fatal shark attacks from other species in the Bahamas are rare but do happen.

In 2022, a 58-year-old American woman was killed by what was thought to be a bull shark off the island of New Providence.

This was half a mile from where a 21-year-old American woman was killed by a bull shark in 2019.

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