It was an unexpected day for one fisherman named Mathew Orlov in Victoria, Australia when he caught an 8’8″ sevengill shark on his line. However, when he reeled it in, he didn’t just have one shark, but also 98 baby sharks as well. Yes, his catch was pregnant.
Sadly, the shark had been attacked by another predator and was dead by the time Orlov got it onto the boat. “I could feel through the line when she was being attacked. As soon as we pulled it up I knew was mauled by another shark,” he said.
That’s when Orlov felt the shark’s belly move and realized he would have to act quickly to perform a c-section. He saved 98 shark pups and the video of the rescue is absolutely incredible!
Check out Orlov’s surgical skills in the video below:
“It was a very overwhelming feeling when they started popping out, I got this adrenaline rush. I was just dumbfounded there was so many, we counted 98,” he said. Orlov admitted he had never done a c-section on a shark before but knew what to do after hearing similar stories from other fishermen.
According to a marine biologist, the pups do appear to be close to term and therefore have a good chance of survival without their mother. Sharks will often abort their embryos in stressful situations, so had Orlov not performed the c-section, they may have died from the stress of the predator attack.
As for the mother shark, Orlov didn’t let her go to waste. He says she was delicious and fed a lot of his family members.