On Monday September 11, 2017, a juvenile great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) shocked beach goers at Manly Beach, near Sydney Australia, when the white shark appeared to beach itself. It is rare for great whites to beach themselves, as they typically prefer deeper waters and are strong swimmers.
ViralHog. (2017 September 12). Shark Spotted on Manly Beach [Video Clip]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/
Several beach goers made attempts to return Fluffy back into the water, but the 1.8 m shark almost immediately stranded itself again. Experts from the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary Aquarium rushed Fluffy to a nearby ocean pool for over night observations while staff figured out what to do.
theguardian (2017 September 12). Pool shark: rescued great white nicknamed “Fluffy” released into ocean [Video Clip]. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/
Staff were on hand all of Monday night while Fluffy recovered in the ocean pool. Great whites are notoriously difficult to house in captivity. They are typically observed bumping into walls and often appear disorientated. Divers in the water ensured that Fluffy remained safe throughout the night.
Fluffy appeared to be doing well on Tuesday, and experts decided a release into deeper waters about 4 km offshore was the best course of action. Fluffy was released Tuesday afternoon. Yay, Fluffy!
As to how Fluffy’s nickname came about… Manly Sea Life Sanctuary aquarium’s life sciences manager, Rob Townsend told theguardian
“It was something I just kind of said off the top of my head to some kids at the pool and too many people heard it,” he laughed. “But we have to combat the bad image of sharks.”
So glad this story had a happy ending for Fluffy! And I was personally so hopeful for great white sharks – especially in Australia – to see the public support behind Fluffy’s return to the ocean. Happy Swimming, Fluffy!
The new Ocean For Sharks Shop is open! There’s handmade ocean inspired plush animals, canvas paintings, and of course my children’s book, Winifred the Wondrous Whale Shark, available in print and PDF. Be sure to stop by. Remember proceeds benefit shark research and conservation with a donation to Project AWARE!
Remember you can make a difference for marine ecosystems by calling your Congress man or woman and tell them that you care about the quality of our waters! Sharks, rays, and other marine organisms cannot speak or be represented in Congress. They need your voice. Get involved and stand up for sharks. Until next time finatics!
Featured Image Source
Dawkins, N. (2017 September 11). A great white shark in the water at the Sea Life aquarium at Manly [Digital Image]. Retrieved from http://mobile.abc.net.au/