A group of anglers in Venice, Florida found themselves acting as midwives earlier this month when they helped a pregnant shark deliver over 20 pups. According to WFLA, the anglers were fishing off a pier when they hooked a large female hammerhead. When they brought the shark closer to shore, the anglers’ exhilaration quickly turned to concern when they noticed that the fish was badly injured. A large bite mark could be seen on the hammerhead’s side, likely inflicted by another shark. More importantly, the female shark was attempting to give birth.
“We seen [sic] the tail, pushing out,” one of the anglers, Noe Campos, told WFLA. “They were trying to push their heads out, so I’m guessing the mom tried to give birth but she didn’t have the strength to push them out.”
Unfortunately, the shark soon succumbed to its injuries. That left it up to the anglers to try and free the pups, which were very much alive and attempting to push their way out. Campos said that he and his friends helped pull the pups out one by one and released them back into the ocean.