Live Shark Rescued from N. Oregon Coast Beach
(Seaside, Oregon) – One bitey little beast washed up onshore on the north Oregon coast this morning: a Soupfin Shark (Galeorhinus galeus) that was still alive and kicking - and biting. (All photos Seaside Aquarium)
Crew from the Seaside Aquarium responded to the call around 7 a.m. after police discovered the creature around 6 a.m. still thrashing around at the surf line. The shark is a 5.5-foot-long male, which means it's not quite fully grown.
Seaside Aquarium's Tiffany Boothe said the shark had a very red belly, which is a sign it was dangerously low on oxygen in its system.
“The shark had been out of the water for quite some time,” Boothe said. “Immediately we got the shark into some water and transported him back to the Seaside Aquarium. The shark was very active, thrashing about and trying to bite at anything which came close to its mouth.”
In spite of trying to nip at handlers, Boothe said it was fairly easy to avoid the creature's mouth as it is set back quite far from its nose.
“Once the shark was placed into a larger tank he calmed down,” Boothe said. “Sharks that are found on the beach still alive rarely recover.”
Boothe said the aquarium has never rescued a live shark from the tide line and had it live for very long. None of them have ever survived. This one showed more promise than usual, however.
“He was more active than any other shark,” Boothe said. “Normally, they lose their equilibrium in the surf. But if you tipped this guy on his side he could right himself.”
Still, Boothe said chances remain low he will survive.
The shark was taken by staff from Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport later in the day and will be further rehabilitated by them. The Newport aquarium already has very large tanks suited for sharks, and it's likely he will be placed on display soon or immediately as he recovers – if he recovers.
Boothe said they didn't try to feed the shark in the holding tank at the Seaside Aquarium because creatures in such a situation are so distressed they would not eat anyway.
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