Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rusi lending a helping hand!

It's not uncommon on The Shark Dive to witness several sharks trailing long lengths of fishing tackle from their mouths. It's very hard to tell whether it is from sport fishing boats, local fishermen or the dreaded longliners; no matter where the hooks originate from though it always means pain and discomfort for the animals.

One of the tiger sharks that we observe, Adi (Princess), showed up 3 weeks ago with one such fish hook lodged in the corner of her mouth. Unfortunately there was not much line for us to work with, a mere 18" extended from her mouth and the hook was clearly visible.

Rusi, one of the shark feeders, took it upon himself to help Adi and remove the fish hook. Adi, at 13ft, is not the largest of tiger sharks but she is still one very large fish. She will approach cautiously at first, checking everything and everyone out ensureing that there is no treat to her; once confident that all is safe Adi will then make close passes of the feeders and take the bait offered up to her.
On one such pass, there was no bait on offer, instead Rusi reached out and plucked the fish hook from the corner of Adi's mouth. Surprisingly she did not flinch ot show any signs of discmfort upon removal of the hook. On subsequent passes Rusi then held up the hook to Adi so she could see what it was that was lodged in her mouth.

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