A sick shark that beached* itself at Sydney’s Manly Beach this week was released back into the wild yesterday.
The endangered baby great white shark, nicknamed Fluffy, was spotted struggling in the surf around Fairy Bower on Monday.
Lifeguards on jet skis kept watch over the 1.5m animal before marine rescue officers arrived to bring it to shore on a stretcher. From there they put it in the Fairy Bower sea water pool to keep it hydrated as a rescue plan was formulated*.
Rob Townsend, life sciences manager at Manly Sealife Sanctuary, was in charge at the scene, along with six staff members.
“The immediate* course of action was to see if it was strong enough to swim away. A couple of attempts were made to put it back in the ocean but it kept washing up on the beach. Apparently it washed up four or five times,” Mr Townsend said.
“Given the proximity of the pool we thought it was a good place to leave it in the interim* while we worked out what to do.
“Obviously a shark of this size and species, it’s not something we can immediately deal with without a bit of preparation time.
“Having put it in the pool, we’ve realised it’s not a mako, it’s a juvenile* white shark, so being a threatened species there’s a whole lot more bureaucracy* and paperwork to make sure we’re doing everything by the book.”
By Monday afternoon, around 200 onlookers had gathered at the scene for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the ocean predator* up close.
The shark was not aggressive* and was gliding back and forth in the water, occasionally bumping into the wall.
Spectator Kyle Goodman from Seaforth, who has just got back from the Bahamas where he was doing shark research, said the sight was “extremely peculiar*” for Sydney’s northern beaches.
“This is the only shark, apart from a whaler or a Port Jackson or a wobbegong I’ve seen in this area and I’ve been diving here for three years.”
The small shark was later taken by truck to Manly’s Sea Life Sanctuary, where it recovered overnight.
An aquarium spokeswoman said the shark was doing well before its release by boat yesterday.
“It’s all in good spirits and great shape” she said.
- beached: stranded on a beach
- formulated: made
- immediate: instant
- interim: meantime
- juvenile: young
- bureaucracy: complicated administration
- predator: hunter
- aggressive: hostile
- peculiar: strange
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
1. Fluffy the shark
In a detailed paragraph, outline what happened to Fluffy the shark.
Include as much detail as you can in your own words.
Focus on your grammar and punctuation.
Edit your paragraph once you’ve written it.
Research great white sharks and write down 10 key facts about them.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English
2. Wild and free
Get into groups of six to conduct a mini debate.
One group of three will be the for side of the argument and one group will be the against.
The topic for argument is: all sea creatures should be left in the wild and not held captive for any purpose. Each person should have an argument to present on this topic either for or against.
Conduct your mini debates in class. At the end of each debate the class can vote for which side won.
Outline reasons for and against keeping animals in captivity.
Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Personal and Social, Critical and Creative Thinking
Wow word reused
There are some great wow words being used in this article and they are defined in the glossary. Your task is to try and use as many of the wow words from the article in new sentences of your own.
Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity.
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP- Vocabulary
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