Shark Chokes on Moose, Rescued by Passersby

The moose didn't fare so well either. Jan Miko/Shutterstock

Derrick Chaulk was driving along the harbor in Norris Arm North on Newfoundland's northeast coast when he spotted what appeared to be a beached whale.

When he got closer, he saw that it was a shark, struggling but still alive ... with a hunk of moose sticking out of its mouth.

Another man, Jeremy Ball, was passing by and the two approached the Greenland shark and, short of a shark Heimlich, successfully dislodged the moose-meat by tugging on it.

"A couple yanks and it just came right out," said Chaulk.

The Greenland shark is not generally known for eating moose. As shark ecologist Ian Hamilton told CBC News, “I don’t think a Greenland shark has the capacity to eat a full-grown moose. ... primarily because it lives on land, obviously.” The usually docile animal was probably eating a calf that had drowned, he said, describing the shark as an "obtuse" animal that is strange-looking and one of the odder members of the shark family. It spends most of its life lumbering in the ocean’s depth, blinded by parasites that dine on its corneas.

That said, they are scavengers and have been known to feast on other carcasses that have found their way into the water, such as polar bears and reindeer.

Once the moose was dismissed, the men set their sights on getting the shark back into the water. They tied a rope around its tail, one man pulled while the other man pushed. After laying in the water for a few minutes, Chaulk said, the shark began breathing again. After another 30 minutes or so, the shark headed out to sea.

"There was a few people up on the bank watching and once that shark swam out and lifted his tail, and then swam all the way out, everybody just clapped," said Chaulk.

"It was a good feeling to see that shark swim out, knowing that you saved his life."