Shark Week 2019: 'Monster Mako: Perfect Predator' Team Makes Emergency Retreat From Aggressive Alpha

Did the Monster Mako crew push their luck a little too far in search of the perfect footage? Ahead of Shark Week's Monster Mako: Perfect Predator, premiering Thursday, Aug. 1 at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery, the network shared a sneak peek of this year's dive into the pinnacle predator's world — including a heart-pounding moment that threatens to put it to an untimely end.

As Joe Romeiro, Devon Massyn and Keith Poe hope to get a shot of the sharks' hunting out at sea, a 9-foot mako appears, sending the spinners swimming away as the alpha closes in on the chumsicle with which they've baited the area.

Some initial "stage fright" from the mako has the cinematographers feeling like, to get the film they need, it will be necessary for them to get out of their protective cage and go for a free dive.

But with so much bait in the water, the alpha quickly starts to get stirred up, sending the divers scrambling for the dive ladder when two more makos are spotted heading into the area from the side.

Despite these sharks' hunting prowess, humans are a bigger risk to the mako than the mako is to a human, Romeiro explained to PopCulture.com ahead of Shark Week, which is part of what he and the Atlantic Shark Institute are trying to combat with education and scientific advocacy.

"Throughout the years, we’ve seen the steady decline of mako sharks," he explained, as people have taken advantage of declining protections for the endangered creatures. "I don't mean to be totally on a negative, but these animals are really in danger.”

“We’re super thankful to Discovery to give us the opportunity to highlight them this year, because this year is the year they became endangered. …That conscientiousness is why I love Shark Week the most."

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Monster Mako: Perfect Predator airs Thursday, Aug. 1 at 10 p.m. ET as part of Discovery's Shark Week. For more about the Atlantic Shark Institute and how you can help protect the mako, visit its website here.

Photo credit: Discovery