Every once in a while (all the time lol) a hunter’s powers and prowess are upstaged by the miracle of Mother Nature………
In a bittersweet rescue, two Newfoundlanders spared a Greenland shark from choking on a symbol of Canadiana.
While gnawing on a piece of moose meat, the shark bit off more than it could chew and got the chunk lodged in its throat, while the tide pulled it in to shore.
Enter Derrick Chaulk, who acted quickly when he saw what he guessed was a beached whale from his car on the northeast coast of Newfoundland.
Upon closer inspection, it was a shark about 2.5 meters long, that was still conscious though choking on a huge piece of moose hide on shore.
Another local, Jeremy Ball, arrived on the scene and began pulling the two-foot-long chunk of moose hide from the shark’s mouth. Once he was successful, the pair began working on getting the shark back out into the water.
Ball tied a knot around the shark’s tail then pulled the rope while Chaulk pushed the shark’s head off shore with his foot. Eventually, they were able to haul the 115-kilogram shark into water about 30 centimetres deep.
The shark laid there for a few minutes, says Chaulk, “Then all of a sudden, the water started coming out of his gills and he started breathing.”
At this point, the shark waded in the water for about 30 minutes, recuperating.
A small crowd had gathered to see if the shark would swim back out into the deeper water.
“There was a few people up on the bank watching and once that shark swam out and lifted his tail, and then swam all the way out, everybody just clapped,” says Chaulk.
“It was a good feeling to see that shark swim out, knowing that you saved his life.”
While moose are a national symbol and a common sight in Newfoundland, Greenland sharks are rarely found on Newfoundland’s northeast coast.
They generally feed on fish in shallow waters, but in some cases they’ll nab polar bears and reindeer when they’ve ventured into the water.
Chaulk suspects the moose may have entered the harbour as discarded scraps from hunters.