An angler in Venice, Florida, caught a 12-foot hammerhead shark after casting his line into the Gulf waters last weekend — but what happened next might surprise you. According to MySunCoast.com, Noe Campos knew he had caught something big because the fish kept “stripping the line off.” While reeling in the catch, the shark got tangled, and so Campos did the only thing he could think of: He swam out into the open ocean to try and help.
“I wasn’t thinking it might bite me. It was more that I wanted to save the fish. It was a big fish; I would rather save the fish.”
Noe Campos was able to get a rope around the huge hammerhead shark and tug it to shore. Upon getting it into shallow water, he realized that the shark was dying; something had bit it. All of the sudden, Campos and others in the area witnessed something extraordinary: Shark pups started poking out of the shark’s side. Campos helped the pups out of their mother (practically performing a C-section) and put them right into the water. Witnesses say there were about 20 babies born that night.
“They survived. The ones I put in the water, they took right off,” said Campos.
The 12-foot hammerhead shark died shortly after giving birth to her babies. It is unknown whether or not the babies survived. While they did swim off strong according to Campos, there is a chance that they weren’t full developed. According to Chron.com, the pups were a little smaller (8″-12″) than the average size of hammerhead babies at birth (14″-16″).
Marine researcher Nick Whitney explained:
“It’s unlikely that the released (premature) pups survived for more than a few hours. While in the uterus they receive nourishment from the mother via a placenta. Not all sharks nourish their embryos this way but hammerheads do.”
Pregnant hammerhead sharks have been caught before and have given birth in the shallow waters of Florida beaches. Of course having a healthy mother give birth when she is at term makes a big difference.
Shark sightings in Florida aren’t uncommon. Just last month, a rare goblin shark was caught by a shrimp fisherman in Key West. As previously reported by The Inquisitr this was the first time that a goblin shark had been spotted in well over a decade. Captain Carl Moore and his crew snapped a photo of the ugly-looking shark and then released it back into the ocean.