Shark Week: Are Sharks Devouring Bags of Cocaine Dumped by Drug Dealers on the Run?

Shark Week: Are sharks feasting on cocaine thrown overboard by drug dealers on the run in Florida's coastal waters?

As if "Cocaine Bear" wasn't bad enough, now comes the possibility that sharks in Florida's coastal waters are eating up bags of cocaine jettisoned by drug dealers fleeing authorities.

On July 26, the Discovery Channel's Shark Week episode is "Cocaine Sharks," which examines longstanding tales of the ocean's predators gobbling cocaine in Florida waters that have become known as the "shark bite capital of the world."

Marine biologist Tom "The Blowfish" Hird tells Inside Edition that drug smugglers have long dumped cocaine parcels overboard while trying to escape narcotics agents chasing them.

"We take on a very, very interesting idea," he says, which "is pretty insane, but it is actually legitimate as well."

In a series of experiments, Hird drops packages off Key West that are roughly the size and shape of cocaine bales. Sure enough, sharks approach and take bites. One even takes a bale and swims off with it.

Hird also dived in waters, observing sharks that appeared to act weirdly.

"There is no doubt that we saw sharks behaving strangely. Not completely abnormally, but definitely strangely," he tells Inside Edition.

Paul de Gelder, who lost part of his right leg and arm during a shark attack, tells Inside Edition that sharks "generally don't want to have any part of you."

If you see one in ocean waters, de Gelder has this advice: "Keep your eyes on it. If it does come in close, all you do is extend your arm," he says. "Put it on the nose, (the) top of the head, and try to stay away from the pointy bits and push it away."

The cocaine episode airs on the Discovery Channel at 10 p.m. on July 26, and is available to stream on Discovery+ and Max.

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