When Mathew Orlov accidentally hooked a sevengill shark on a recent fishing trip, he had no idea what was about to happen. As he was reeling in the 9-foot shark, another shark killed it. Once he was able to get it onboard, he found out that the shark was a pregnant female, with a womb full of baby sharks. Thinking quickly, Orlov cut open the shark and delivered 98 live shark babies back into the ocean.
As it turns out, the plan had never been to catch a sevengill that day. Orlov was fishing with a smaller hook off of Australia’s Victorian coast and was aiming for fish. He wasn’t trying or expecting, to catch a shark, and it was already dead by the time he pulled it on board.
Sevengill sharks tend to have between 80 and 100 pups and take up to 12 months to gestate their young. Marine biologists who have reviewed the footage of the births are optimistic that the pups were developed enough that they should be able to survive on their own.