David Blyde, a veterinarian in Australia, was willing to plunge his arm up to his shoulder into the throat of a 10-foot nurse shark to save the animal after it swallowed a large hook. It was stuck in the animal’s digestive tract, leaving a long metal handle sticking from its mouth, AP reports.
The gray nurse shark is apparently one of Australia’s most endangered marine species because it was fished to near-extinction, with some estimates running as low a fewer than 300 animals left in the wild in waters off Australia’s east coast.
I wrote about nurse sharks just last week. In Belize, you can swim with them and pet them. The Australian grey nurse shark is a little different than the kind they have in Belize. Still, it is generally much smaller than the more aggressive great white. It is also not considered a threat to humans, but its bite could still do serious damage.
The “hooked shark” was spotted by divers on Monday as it swam with a group of others near Byron Bay, 500 miles north of. After the animal was captured and placed in a holding tank, rescuers pushed a stiff plastic pipe into the shark’s throat. Blyde then reach down through the pipe to free the hook.
Blyde told reporters that “as a veterinarian you often end up putting your hands in places that people find somewhat unattractive.”
I think I could think of several different professions with the same problem.