A large sand tiger shark at a Seoul aquarium is said to have eaten a large banded houndshark in the first such incident at the aquarium. The eight-year-old female sand tiger shark, the largest in the COEX aquarium at about 2.2m long, is said to have slowly eaten the smaller five-year-old male shark bite by bite.

The aquarium said the attack happened at about 6.30pm local time on 28 January. Ten minutes later, the larger shark was filmed swimming around with the body of her tank mate, about 1.2m in length, hanging out her mouth.

Approximately 21 hours later, only the tip of the tail remained, as the shark swam around the aquarium's undersea tunnel in front of aquarium guests. The tail is expected to stay in her mouth for about four to five days, the aquarium said, adding that the shark will regurgitate the creature after about a week as she will be unable to digest him. The aquarium believes the incident to be a kind of "turf war".

"Sharks have their own territory. However, sometimes when they bump against each other, they bite out of astonishment. I think the shark swallowed the whole body, because they usually eat it all when they bite the head part,' said PR manager of COEX aquarium, Oh Tae-youp.

Fights between small sharks have happened in the past, Oh added, but this kind of occurrence is rare and the first of its kind at the aquarium itself. The aquarium started breeding big sharks about 10 years ago, according to the aquarium. Now, they say, a total of 42 sharks live together in the tank, with two turtles and 20 rays living alongside them.