Man helps shark give birth

An animal lover in southern Spain was shocked to discover the 'dolphin' he'd spotted on a local beach was actually a shark that was giving birth.

Man helps shark give birth
Both blue sharks and the larger thresher sharks are seen regularly in the waters off Fuengirola in southern Spain. File photo: Wikimedia

"I was driving to work in the morning when I saw something thrashing around on the beach (in Fuengirola)," Antonio Calvillo told local daily newspaper La Opinión de Málaga recently.

"I thought it was a stranded dolphin but when I made my way over, I realized it was a (Blue) shark," the young man added.

He called emergency services and then decided to try and drag the animal out to sea by the tail "because it seemed tired, but not injured or hurt".

A married couple who were passing by also offered to help him. "But while (the shark) was thrashing about we noticed a little tail coming out of its stomach," said Calvillo.

When the rescuers realized the animal was giving birth, Calvillo applied pressure to its stomach. He did so until the creature had given birth to around ten babies.

"They were beautiful little sharks which came out full of life and swam back towards the sea.

"My first thought was that if something happens to the mother at least the babies will live," Calvillo said, explaining his actions.

Two local Civil Guard officers then arrived to help drag the exhausted shark back into the water. Eventually the mother recovered enough to be able to swim out to sea unaided.

"I'll never forget this amazing experience," Calvillo said of the morning's events.

Blue sharks are seen regularly in the waters off Fuengirola, Dean from local business Dean's Charter Fishing told The Local.

He said these sharks were more common in the summer months, and followed fish shoals.

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