Defenseless. Helpless. These are not typical words associated with sharks. However, a South African guide recently found an entangled blacktip shark, which initially seemed both defenseless and helpless. Tyler was on his way to a feeding drum, along the eastern shore of South Africa, when he first noticed the shark. Rope was tightly coiled around the shark’s body as well as its dorsal fin, which is the fin sticking straight up slicing through the water as a shark approaches the surface.
Tyler bravely rushed to the aid of the shark as it slashed around, trying to be freed of its predicament. Using the rope wrapped around the shark, the guide pulled himself closer where he raised his knife to cut the rope and release the shark. Agitated, the shark flung around and Tyler, respecting the creature, stopped his efforts. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, or was the shark just responding to primal, instinctive forces? When the manmade rope ensnared the blacktip shark, was the shark relegated to prey instead of predator?
According to Tyler, “I got my knife out and I was busy cutting off the rope and the shark bends over basically, and as it came over I just went back and it got onto me and just told me just to leave it alone.”
While blacktip sharks may appear like skilled apex predators, these sharks are listed as a threatened species in part for the types of waters inhabited (subtropical and tropical) and the fact that their fins are desired by people for the meat. The Blacktip Shark, with the scientific name of Carcharhinus limbatus, and not to be confused with the Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) often prefers inshore regions where the likelihood of crossing paths with humans is a common occurrence.
As an apex predator, should people really feel sympathy for a shark, any shark?
[ GrindTV ]