Men Save Shark Choking on ... Moose

2 Newfoundland men pry out moose chunk, send shark back to sea

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2013 1:30 PM CST

(Newser) – Two men spotted a wildlife watcher's dream on the coast of Newfoundland last weekend: a beached, eight-foot-long Greenland shark—choking on a piece of moose hide. The shark itself is a rare sight in the area. The chunk of moose stuck in its mouth "had the fur and all the liner on it—it was about two feet long, maybe," Derrick Chaulk tells the CBC. When Jeremy Ball came to investigate, the two men gave "a couple yanks and it just came right out," Chaulk says. The men then roped the shark, gave it a push, "and between the two of us, we got him out into deeper water," Chaulk says. The shark eventually swam away.

Before you imagine an epic shark-moose battle, Greenland sharks are known to scavenge on animals that wander into shallow water, including polar bears and reindeer, and even at times to nearly suffocate while eating a carcass—like, say, a moose carcass. Chaulk says locals throw scraps of butchered animals, including moose, into the harbor. Still, "it was a good feeling to see that shark swim out, knowing that you saved his life," he says, though an expert says the shark may not have been in real danger. As for the men, they maybe should have left the moose in the shark's mouth, the expert adds. "When you're man-handling a shark like this and trying to get it back in the water, the fact that its mouth was otherwise pre-occupied by chewing on the meat, you reduce the risk yourself of getting bit accidentally."

A non-asphyxiating Greenland shark.
A non-asphyxiating Greenland shark.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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