Veterinarian reaches into shark’s throat to remove hook it swallowed

It’s good to know people don’t always torture sharks and sharks don’t always torture people. Sometimes, we even help each other out.

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 Sydney. 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.