Daring Divers Save Choking Shark

Grey nurse shark had elastic pressing in on gills

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 27, 2014 8:11 AM CST

(Newser) – Australian divers got up close and personal with a grey nurse shark that was in desperate need of saving last week in a "first-of-its-kind" rescue caught on tape, via 7News Sydney, picked up by GrindTV. Somehow the young female shark—spotted breathing heavily in a shark habitat off Sydney—had managed to get an elastic band wrapped around her body. The band acted like a noose, slowly killing the shark as it pressed in on her gills. That's when a vet team swam into action, wrestling the shark into a clear plastic "sock" that could bring her to the surface—"the first time that we've run this kind of operation in the wild," a SeaLife sanctuary worker said.

"When you're dealing with a wild animal like this anything can happen," he added, noting, "Their teeth are always on display and they are very sharp." At the surface, however, a vet was able to cut the cord, which left a nasty wound and had probably been there for some time. After an antibiotic shot, the shark went freely on her way and should be fully healed in a month or so, 7News reports. "If we hadn't intervened, I have no doubt it would have died, the elastic would have kept cutting deeper and deeper into the neck," the vet said. Click to read about another shark rescue; this one was choking ... on moose.

The shark, seen with an elastic band around its gills.
The shark, seen with an elastic band around its gills.   (YouTube screenshot)
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The full shark rescue.   (7News)

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