When a diver spotted a struggling grey nurse shark off a Sydney beach, her gills encircled by a biting elastic cord and breathing labored, he immediately informed experts at the nearby Manly Sea Life Sanctuary.
In order to rescue the shark, the Manly Sea Life team had to bring her up into open air where she could be more easily operated on -- but in doing so, they surfaced a few uncomfortable truths as well.
"There is believed to be around 1,500 grey nurse sharks left on the east coast of Australia, so it is obviously frustrating to see a beautiful animal like this caught up in rope as a direct result of human carelessness," Manly Sea Life's Life Sciences manager Rob Townsend told Australia's Daily Telegraph.
Diving deep into her home, they first coaxed the shark into a large, clear "shark sock," careful not to further frighten her or any of her circling friends. Then there was a quick wrestle, as the team wrapped the injured shark into a restraining stretcher. She can be seen bucking against the human's hold in the video above, but the team member held strong.
Once they brought the shark to the surface, veterinarian Rob Jones cut the cord and checked the rest of her body for any other injuries. With a quick injection of antibiotic, she's off. Another shark saved, another hope for the population to rebound.
As shown in the video, improperly disposed of materials can pollute habitats and put wildlife at risk. “This is just another example of an innocent animal, critically endangered at that, being affected," Townsend added.