Sunday, 22 July 2012

Beached Ore. shark dies in rescue attempt

NEWPORT, Ore. -- The Oregon Coast Aquarium rented a U-Haul Wednesday, filling it with a large holding tank of water ... and a shark.

The small Soupfin Shark beached just south of Seaside Wednesday. 

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, it was loaded onto the rented U-Haul -- headed from Seaside, Ore., to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Ore. 

This shark is a male and 5 feet six inches long. Rescuers say he's in pretty bad shape; they've given him a 50:50 chance of survival.

"The shark was on beach for an hour before we could get to him," said the Oregon Coast Aquarium's Kevin Clifford.

Sharks found on the beach rarely survive. However, workers from the aquarium have been pumping water into his mouth -- and over his gills -- to keep him going. Transporting a shark by land also "is a very rare occurrence," said photojournalist Dave Pastor, who captured our footage. 

If the shark survives, it will be displayed in the Oregon Coast Aquarium's massive "Passages" exhibit in Newport.

Clifford credits those who stepped in to help for any chance of survival.

"It was all timing," he said, "and knowing what to do by the Seaside Aquarium folks."

UPDATE 12:20 p.m. 7/19: Libby Scott at the Oregon Coast Aquarium tells KOIN Thursday that this shark has died. "He was compromised when he came in," Scott said. As such, they're "not surprised he died."

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