Saving our Sharks – Timor Leste.
A moment worth sharing…
A couple of days ago (May 18th) the staff of Dreamers Dive Academy went to the iconic statue of Cristo Rai in Dili, Timor Leste to see the sunrise with family. We tried our luck at seeing some baby black tip sharks. Suddenly, from our view at the top of the hill we realize a big shark was in the shallows. It went near to the beach in order to hunt! Turned out to be a fully grown grey reef shark
After watching for a good while, as this shark hunted around, we realised the tide was falling. We made our way down to backside beach to get a closer look and keep a watchful eye of the situation. As the continued to fall it became a threatening situation for this shark. In its search for food it started to risk its life; getting all scratch up in shallow water. Eventually, due to a combination of waves and low water it ended up stuck. It tried to get back out to deeper water but the waves kept flipping it over. The shark thrashed around getting tired by it’s attempts to escape the shallows.
Finally, unable to stay witness to this beautiful creature’s death we decided to go in the water to pull him out into deeper water. Ivan ventured in first not quite knowing what to expect. Unsure of how the shark may behave in this situation.
At first he foughtm, making it difficult to hold on due to its power. After all this was a fully grown male Grey Reef Shark! In this moment Kayla waded in also to help. Tryinng to figure out what to do without having an incident. However soon enough the shark calmed down after Ivan spoke to him and tried to make him understand the intentions. Ivan towed him back into deeper water by his tail. Kayla went back to shore to take these photos. Once Ivan reached deeper water he held the shark by his dorsal fin and tail in attempt to keep water circulation through its gills. Unfortunately, he was simply too tired. If he was let go he would simply sink motionless.
Saved a life
In sight of the shark giving up, all caution left and Ivan decided to hug the shark, talk to him and comfort him.
In this strong personal moment the shark started to twitch and his breathing improved. Most likely this intellegent animal to was listening and responding to the energy. He could feel how much we need these sharks alive!
And yes! The shark recovered, and swam into deeper water! After a few circles near by he disappeared into the deep blue.
It is not something we will ever forget.
Sadly, locals that has gatherted on the beach feared to enter and assist for the ‘danger’. They voiced concern for the rescuers well being as they entered the water. Many people assumed we were assisiting a dolphin because we refused to listen to their advice. Such a shame that a dolphin deserves help whilst sharks do not. Sharks are worthy of being left to die?
Sharks are a key predator in the ocean and without them the whole ecosystem can fall apart. Many of us need to learn the importance of these wonderful animals. In addition, the cycle of life is so fragile in the ocean and we need to help it stay on balance by understanding it.
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