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Great white shark's close encounter with film crew captured on video

Documentary filmmaker Dave Riggs found himself within mere centimetres of a female great white shark and described the shark as one of the most remarkables animals he's ever seen.

Film crew comes terrifyingly close to shark in Australia

Female great white shark (Luke Thom/Discovery Shark Week )

Documentary filmmaker Dave Riggs came almost face-to-face with a female great white shark and her 300, give or take, serrated triangular teeth.

Riggs was in a boat near the Neptune Islands in South Australia's Spencer Gulf when a female great white shark came to inspect the boat.

The filmmaker spoke with ABC Goldfields-Esperance about what it was like to be so close to an animal that many of us are taught to fear.

"Wow, what an animal. It really looked like a throwback to the dinosaur era, it was quite incredible to be honest," he said. "I think it's a perfect illustration as to why we need to preserve it; it really is the last living relic of a bygone era."

The World Wildlife Federations says the Great White Shark, which can grow to larger than 20 feet, is "vulnerable"; whereas National Geographic defines the often 5,000 lbs animal as "endangered."

Riggs took to Facebook last week after his personal encounter with a similar message. 

"This is how a great white 'sniffs'," he wrote, attaching an image of one shark poking its face out of the water. "It looks frightening but this... it really is... the last dinosaur... We must protect this magnificent creature!"

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