Live shark washed ashore at Ouddorp: ‘Never experienced it’

On the beach of Ouddorp a large, blue shark washed ashore alive. Initially, a tourist tried for an hour to put the animal back, into the water. When that failed, the Rescue Team Zeedieren NL had the shark transferred to the zoo Blijdorp in Rotterdam.

Check out the tourist‘s attempt here:

We are going to do our utmost for the shark, says Mark de Boer van Blijdorp at RTV Rijnmond. But it’s gonna be tricky, he warns. โ€œA shark that does not exist in the North Sea and lies on the beach there, is something about that. Healthy animals do not flush. It‘s very complicated keeping him alive. But it looks reasonable now.โ€

My husband immediately walked into the water

It was Fatima Amekrane who first saw the shark – with an exact length of 1.86 meters – this afternoon. She spent a weekend in a bungalow park in the Zuid-Holland village and took a beach walk with her husband and daughter. โ€œMy husband saw the fish lying there on his back. At first we thought it was a dead dolphin. He walked right into the water, with his clothes still on. When he saw that the fish was still alive, he tried for an hour to make it swim back. But the fish came back every time,โ€ she says.

When Amekrane saw it couldn’t get the shark back to swim, she called the animal ambulance. That warned the Rescue Team Zeedieren NL. That decided to transfer the shark to Blijdorp in a special dolphin box. The rescue squad in Ouddorp supplied an oxygen bottle to keep the shark alive on the way.

Usually they are long dead

Mark de Boer of the zoo: โ€œWe have transferred the shark from the dolphin box to the quarantine tank of Blijdorp. We are now slowly bringing the salt content of the tank to North Sea level.โ€

Meanwhile, a team of experts and veterinarians has been gathered to see how the animal, which normally swims in warmer seawater, can survive. De Boer can‘t give guarantees. But the fact that a living shark washes up and survives it is very special, says Jaap van der Hiele of the Rescue Team. โ€œThis is the first time I’ve seen this. The first time in 27 years!โ€

De Boer adds: โ€œThis is the first time we have received a blue shark. Most animals are dead before they are taken off the beach.โ€