SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Endangered sea otters are facing a growing threat from what may seem like an unexpected predator – sharks. Scientists are unsure of what is causing the recent spike in shark attacks on sea otters.

The number of sea otters killed and wounded by sharks has soared in recent years, and great white sharks are the main suspect.

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Otter carcasses continue to be found along the Central California coast with shark bites, and in some cases even shark teeth, from white sharks embedded in the otters’ furry bodies.

Scientists do not know why sharks are killing otters but the leading theory is that it may have something to do with the growing number of sea lions and elephant seals, the white sharks’ main meal. Sharks may simply be mistaking the sea otters for their typical sea lion and elephant seal prey.

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

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