Shark (illustrative)
Shark (illustrative)Credit: Thinkstock

The remains of Vladimir Popov, the 23-year-old Russian man who was savagely mauled to death by a tiger shark at an Egyptian beach last week, were found in the belly of the shark which was captured and killed following the attack, Al Arabiya reported.

The attack occurred at the Hurghada resort on the Red Sea. The gruesome video of the shark attack circulated on social media, gathering worldwide attention.

In the video, Popov can be seen struggling in the bloodied water and frantically trying to swim back to shore. He screamed for his father multiple times before the large predator emerged from the depths and dragged him underwater.

Popov's father, Yury, and many terrified onlookers could only watch in horror as the horrific event unfolded. A boat which was dispatched to attempt to pull him from the water arrived just after he was pulled beneath the surface.

Yury Popov told the Russian 112 media outlet: "We went to the beach to relax. My son was attacked by a shark, it all happened in seconds."

"What kind of help can you give? This meat grinder happened in 20 seconds, he was just dragged under the water," the bereaved father said.

He said: "This is an absolutely ridiculous coincidence, because it is a safe beach. There are ships and yachts around. It's never happened there. They usually attack on wild beaches. It's just some kind of evil fate."

The father said that he would have his son's remains cremated and the ashes returned to Russia.

Following the attack, a boat caught the shark which had eaten Popov and dragged it to shore, where it was clubbed to death by civilians. The shark's remains were taken by the Egyptian authorities and handed over to the National Institute of Marine Sciences for direction and research to determine why the unusual attack occurred and whether the shark may have been involved in previous attacks on humans in the area.

As expected, Vladimir Popov's remains were found inside the shark after it was dissected. The shark was confirmed to be a 10-foot-long female tiger shark. No other information has been revealed about the animal.

Shark attacks on humans are rare, and predation events such as this are rarer still, making it difficult to determine why this shark acted so unusually in actively hunting and eating a human. The vast majority of shark bites are either cases of mistaken identity or acts of curiosity from an animal which can only determine what an object is with its mouth. In these cases, the shark will usually leave after the first bite because it has determined that the person is not a prey item.

It is currently the mating season for tiger sharks, which brings the creatures closer to the shore and may make them more aggressive than usual. It is unknown if this played a role in the attack on Popov.

Tiger sharks are considered one of the three most dangerous shark species to humans, attaining sizes similar to the great white shark. Tiger sharks are responsible for 142 unprovoked attacks on humans since records have been kept, including 39 fatal attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Last year, two female tourists were killed in shark attacks just days apart in Hurghada.