Sharks have long held a point of fascination among us. These are creatures both feared and revered; respected, yet avoided. So when we see one out of sea, clearly in distress, we end up unsure as to what to do.
When this particular giant shark was found by fishermen, they quickly spotted that something was wrong with it. It was moving extremely slow and had a giant unnatural bulge on its body. They debated on what they can do to help, finally agreeing to cut open the predator to reveal what was causing the bulge.
Nobody could believe a shark of this size was found so close to the shore; more so when they saw what was inside it.
It was already unusual for a shark of this size to wash up ashore. It was still alive when they found it and as fearsome as it was, they knew they could still do something to help.
This shark needed to be cut open because there was obviously something in its stomach that shouldn’t be there. It could spell the difference whether it lives or dies.
When the vet finally arrived, he quickly sedated the shark. The animal was in distress and nearly lifeless, but its teeth were big and sharp–it was better to be cautious.
It wasn’t the first time he did a procedure like this but he was still nervous. He wasn’t in his trusty clinic. Instead, he was outdoors, in the elements, at the shore of an unfamiliar sea. Anything could happen here…
When the veterinarian carefully cut open the enormous bulge on the shark, the contents were immediately revealed.
Everybody’s jaw dropped to the floor. “How was this possible…?”
For a couple of months now, fishing in The Gulf Stream has been ongoing.
Fishermen had been working very hard to make sure they fish enough to keep the customers happy but that has not always been easy… And their lives would even get more difficult.
It has been a slow and difficult process so far as getting the fish to the markets. The seas were dangerous, the weather was fickle. And they were always worried about sharks.
Working around these predators has slowed their progress down a lot. But there was one thing they worried about most…
The fishermen are way behind schedule, which put all their jobs on the line. The employer was even thinking of firing the fishermen.
The fishermen knew they had to work as hard as they could, especially after boss gave them an ultimatum.
On a day like any other, the fishermen went out fishing in the morning, tired and worn after they had to work the night before.
Suddenly, one of the fishermen stops in his tracks and jumps back. Something was in the sea–and it scared him so much he almost fell off the boat.
It was a shark, but not just any shark. It was the biggest shark they had ever seen!
And the scary thing was, that is was slowly, menacingly almost, making its way towards the boat.
Sharks however, are known for being fluid and swift. This one was noticeably slow–as if it pained to have itself move across the water.
The fisherman, after recovering from the initial shock, took a closer look. The shark had a giant bulge in its belly–a strange discovery for sure.
It should be noted that the fishermen’s boats were also far too shallow for a shark this size to be spotted. Was it moving slowly because it wasn’t used to being in shallow waters?
As the shark continued to slowly circle their vessel, the fishermen decided the best course of action would be to call a vet who could help.
The vet says that the shark might be pregnant and is about to give birth, close to the shore of the beach.
To confirm the vet’s suspicions, he needed the fishermen to take on a dangerous task.
She asked the fishermen to find out where exactly the bulge on the body is. To do this, however, the shark needs to be laid out on land.
Most of the fishermen hesitated if they should or even could actually do this. What if the shark attacks them? Then one of them takes control of the situation.
The brave fisherman decides that he will locate himself in the most dangerous spot to make sure the others are safe.
Then 2 other brave fishermen decide that they will pull on the tail of the shark to try and stretch the shark. Luck was on their side while doing this.
The head is quite a bit away from the end of the tail so the chances of it being able to bite them are slim.
Especially with how slow the shark was moving before. But they still don’t want to take a risk, so they take extra safety measures.
The 2 men try to gear themselves out with some of the toughest materials they can find, while another fisherman joins them to distract the shark if necessary.
With the lead in their shoes, the 2 men grab the tail of the shark. All fishermen are holding their breath, hoping that everything goes according to plan…
Not okay But there was nothing they had to be worried about as the shark put up no fight whatsoever and let itself get stretched out almost fully.
It is becoming more and more obvious that something is very wrong with this animal.
Now the fishermen can see where the bulge is located on the body clearly and call the vet back to report their findings.
The fishermen are curious about what they have to do next, as they have never seen a shark give birth before. But the vet’s tone changes immediately when she hears where the bulge is.
If the bulge was because of the pregnancy, it would be located way further back on the body.
The bulge is located at about the start of the stomach, meaning it is something that is probably unable to enter the shark’s body.
The shark obviously swallowed something it shouldn’t have and probably required immediate surgery if it was to survive.
There was no time to lose. But the fishermen didn’t know what to do. So they asked the vet what they should do.
The vet decided to visit the company’s warehouse.
After 3 hours she finally arrived and was finally able to lay eyes on the shark.
The fishermen meanwhile were starting to worry. Despite the shark not being in top shape , a shark of this size could still easily hurt them.
When the vet finally arrived at the site, the shark was still laying at the same place as where the fishermen kept him. But it became more and more obvious that this would not be the case for very long, as the shark had gotten really aggressive at this point.
The shark did not like it getting blocked, and instantly targeted the fishermen that were holding the sheet metal as a way to protect themselves.
Many of the fishermen already had some close calls, but the fear for the shark increased to an all-time high now.
Some fishermen dropped the metal and ran back. The vet had to act quickly and knew that the only chance here was if she could quickly sedate the shark.
But sedating the shark was not without certain risks.
There was always a risk that the shark might not wake up from this, considering the condition it was described to be in.
But seeing it so actively trying to attack the fishermen, the doctor had the confidence that it would survive the injection. The only thing left was approaching the shark with the tranquilizers.
The vet waited for the shark to have his head turned in the other direction.
After that, she slowly approached the shark and swiftly injected the sedative into the shark’s lower body. Now they had to wait until the shark was fully sedated.
Over the next couple of minutes, it slowed down more and more and the vet was able to inject the shark with a couple of more sedatives which were necessary for a shark this size go completely out.
Now the vet could finally turn her attention to the big bulge on the shark that she actually came for. She takes her surgery kid out of the big jeep from the company’s warehouse and sets it up to get to work.
She can quickly confirm her suspicions that the object is stuck at the entrance to the shark’s stomach by feeling its body.
The object stuck in its body was something that the shark had swallowed and could not be broken down by the digestive system.
Surgery needed At this point, there is nothing else to do but to carefully cut open the shark and whatever was causing the bulge out.
But surgery always comes with a risk, especially if this surgery has to be done in the middle of nowhere. But there is no other option available.
Out of the shark came a weird bag, that baffled the vet at first, but the fishermen immediately knew what it was and realized what happened.
But the fishermen also realized that this was not good news for the shark…
This bag was their bag of tools, in which they kept most of their items like fishing rods, reels and other tools.
However, the rod in this one was broken so they left it before they sailed out. But they still couldn’t figure out how the shark found this bag as they thought they left it somewhere by the shore.
Inside the bag were packs of meat that they had forgotten to unload.
The shark must have picked up the scent off the meat and thought it was prey so it swallowed it as a whole. But it sadly quickly learned the consequences of an error that might be fatal to the shark.
With the bag removed, the vet quickly starts stitching up the shark again.
While she does this, she also chips the shark to track its movement and see if it survives in the ordeal in the long run. Then they wake up the shark, hoping it will not be aggressive anymore.
It takes about a few minutes for the shark to wake up. It is still dazed and confused at first.
But after a while, it starts crawling away a lot faster than it was before the surgery. After the shark was gone again in the forest, the vet had one thing left that she needed to do…
She thanked the fishermen for their incredible effort to keep the shark and themselves safe.
She also monitored the shark’s behavior via the chip she planted. The shark is behaving completely normally and the vet can confidently say that the operation has been a success. She saved the animal’s life.