Shark swimming in the name of art

29th May 2013

A man from Dorset has become the first person ever to sketch great white sharks in their natural habitat off the coast of South Africa, while underwater.

Jonathan Truss travelled to the world's most shark-infested waters to capture the predators first hand.

Armed with just a handful of china-marker oil crayons and a waterproof plastic white board, the 52-year-old was plunged into the ocean in a cage.

He spent 90 minutes up close and personal with the sharks, studying them and creating a series of rough sketches which he later used as the basis of his paintings.

The sharks' seal hunting ground off Gansbaai, also known as Shark Alley, was the stretch of water chosen for the landmark sketch. It has the biggest concentration of great whites in the world and is a popular hotspot with tourists wanting to catch a glimpse of the marine predators.

Great white sharks are currently an endangered species, with the diving team informing Mr Truss there could be just 1,000 of them left in the world.

"These days, there are so many wildlife artists out there, you've got to do something different," he told the Daily Mail.

"I'd love to think I'm the first person to do this - but I could also be one of the last if there really are so few left."

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