Wed, Sep 13, 2017 - Page 6 News List

‘Fluffy’ the baby great white shark heads back to sea

AFP, SYDNEY

A rescued juvenile great white shark swims in Fairy Bower pool on Monday after rescuers saved it off Manly beach in Sydney, Australia.

Photo: Reuters

A baby great white shark that stunned onlookers when it washed up on a popular Sydney beach was yesterday released back into the ocean after spending the night in an aquarium.

The thrashing 1.5m animal, nicknamed “Fluffy” by marine experts, came ashore at busy Manly Beach on Monday.

“When you see a real-life shark, it’s scary,” Dan Korocz, who was at the beach with his young family, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “I’ve got a four-year-old and a two-year-old and we went down to the water’s edge and then it came in.”

Several attempts were made to immediately return the injured shark to the sea by staff from the nearby Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, but it kept coming back to land.

The Sea Life team then put the creature in a sling and carried it to a nearby rock pool — attracting crowds of curious onlookers — while they worked out what to do.

They later took the shark to the sanctuary, where its health was assessed and it made a good recovery overnight, center senior aquarist Robbie McCracken said.

Fluffy was finally released into the open ocean after being loaded into a tank of water on a boat yesterday.

“This animal is better suited to recovery out in its environment,” McCracken told the Nine Network, adding that it was “extremely rare” for a shark to beach itself.

“These great white sharks usually are animals that would tend to be offshore a bit, out in the deeper, more unrestricted waters,” McCracken said. “This one for whatever reason found its way up into the beaches of Manly and then into the surf zone, where it came into a bit of grief. That is where we were able to step in and sort of intervene.”

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