Via The Dodo
Road worker Antonio Carrillo was driving to his job site one morning last week along the coast of Fuengirola in southern Spain when he spotted a large animal that appeared to be stranded and struggling on the beach. Being an animal-lover, he decided to risk arriving to his job a little late to see if there was anything he could do to help it.
Little did he know that he would soon be playing accidental obstetrician to a shark.
“I thought it was a stranded dolphin but when I made my way over, I realized it was a (Blue) shark,” Carrillo told the newspaper La Opinión de Málaga.
After calling emergency services to alert them of the situation, Carrillo took a closer look at the six-foot-long shark and thought he would just drag it back into the water himself.
“It seemed tired,” he said, “but not injured or hurt.”
Carrillo was soon joined by a couple who had stopped, equally concerned about the animal. Together, they slowly began inching the exhausted shark to the surf when Carrillo noticed something strange — a tiny tail emerging from the its underside. The shark was in labor.
Blue sharks are among a few species of shark that are viviparous, giving birth to live young as opposed to laying eggs.
“My first thought was that if something happens to the mother at least the babies will live,” Carrillo told Diario Sur.
Positioning the shark on its side, Carrillo then applied a pressure to its stomach with his hand until out popped a baby shark. Then another. And another after that. All told, he helped deliver ten little blue sharks that he said all appeared to be in perfect health.
“They were beautiful little sharks which came out full of life and swam back towards the sea,” said Carrillo.
Soon after, two Civil Guards which had been dispatched to the beach arrived to help pull the new mother back out to sea to join her offspring. Carrillo noted that the shark appeared stronger having finished giving birth — with a bit of help — and was able eventually able to swim away on her own.
“I’ll never forget this amazing experience,” he says.