I get it. A beached shark struggling for dear life is entirely different from a healthy (and/or hungry) shark swimming around in the water. But these people are still amazing in my book. Just because a shark is on land does not mean that the sharks teeth suddenly become dull or that the shark will not snap at someone out of fear during their life threatening situation. The fact that these people jumped into action to save this defenseless shark is pretty impressive. It is even more impressive when you see towards the end of the video how one person wades out into the water in order to give the shark that one last push that was needed to save its life. I think we all get images of what that shark could have done and yet this person decided the risk was worth it.
Faith in humanity… Restored.
Why Do Sharks Get Beached In The First Place?
The exact reason why a shark will beach itself isn’t completely known. However, it is thought that most sharks will beach themselves on accident or after receiving a serious injury. A number of sharks have been found on beaches with fishing lures attached to them were signs of evidence that a fisherman capture the shark and then did not know what to do once the shark was on shore. In some cases, a beached shark will find themselves in that position after attempting to grab a quick meal. In the below video, you can see how sharks are on a feeding frenzy and nearly beat themselves during the buffet.
While we do not know the exact reasoning why this shark was beached, it is actually a pretty rare event to see a beached shark when compared to whales and dolphins. It is believe that many whales and dolphins who find themselves beached on Ocean Shores end up in that position due to their internal compass being out of whack. They lose all sense of direction and do not realize they are swimming towards shore until it is too late. It is not believed that sharks have this same issue and the reason that you will find a beach shark is likely different from the reasons that you will find a beached whale or dolphin.
What Should You Do If You Find A Beached Shark?
While we commend the individuals in the video above, it is not recommended that you try to save a shark if you find one beached on the shore. Most of the people who come to this website understand the importance of sharks and we would all love the opportunity to save one. With that said, sharks are very unpredictable and it is important for someone who knows they are doing to help the shark. You should flag down a professional such as a lifeguard or even call animal control so that they can direct you to the proper resource.
If you do find the need to intervene immediately, you should absolutely never attempt to help a shark while you are by yourself. It would be very difficult for a shark to attack while struggling on land but if you are bit it will be crucial to get immediate medical attention as blood loss would be your main issue. Fortunately, shark bites are way less common than you will likely have been led to believe and there have been a number of beached sharks who have been saved in recent years with very little incidence of people getting hurt by saving those sharks. So it is really just a matter of how much risk you are willing to take to save a struggling shark. In the case in the above video, they obviously stopped thinking about themselves and their own safety in order to do a really great thing and we commend them for that.