Brave scientists in Australia captured this picture of one of the largest great white sharks ever tagged. The shark was tagged by the brave scientists after less-brave swimmers complained about the 17-foot shark hanging around their beach (presumably it was feeding off of a dead whale that had beached itself). While the brave scientists tagged the shark and the less-brave swimmers hid on the beach with their hands covering their eyes, the city of Albany (in Western Australia) closed the beach and had the whale carcass removed.
Once the scientists determined that the shark was not a species that would respond to the command “roll over”, they hooked the great white and flipped it on its back. This paralyzes the shark by putting it into a state known as “tonic immobility” (similar to the state known as “scared-to-death” that the less-brave swimmers were experiencing up on the beach). One of the scientists explained to the reporters:
“In a sense the shark basically goes to sleep, which enables our technical officers to do a small surgical procedure to implant an acoustic tag inside the shark’s gut cavity.”
The picture was taken while the brave scientist was completing the final stitches to the female shark’s belly. Then the brave scientists flipped the shark back onto its belly at which time it instantly woke up and swam towards the beach to give the less-brave swimmers one more scare.
Sadly, any great white, tiger, or bull shark longer than 10 feet that comes close to the beach is in grave danger. Western Australia has a catch-and-kill policy for the big ones that scare the less-brave swimmers.