A quick-thinking fisherman delivered 98 baby sharks by c-section after their mother was fatally attacked by another predator.
Mathew Orlov, 46 claims that the sevengill shark was already dead when he pulled it onto his boat off the coast of Victoria, Australia.
However when Matthew lay the shark on the deck of his boat he realised that its stomach was still moving.
Mathew Orlov cut open the stomach of a dead sevengills shark to save the pups who were inside
He then performed an impromptu c-section on the mother shark in a bid to save the babies inside.
Mathew, from Geelong, can be seen in the clip removing each young shark from inside the mother and into the wild during the operation which lasted nine minutes.
Mathew, said: ‘As soon as she was on the boat we saw the seven bite marks from another shark.
As Mathew continued the c-section more babies appeared as he pulled them out and threw them back into the sea
‘I could feel threw the line when she was being attacked. As soon as we pulled it up I knew was mauled by another shark.
‘When I saw the belly moving, instinct kicked in. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’ve fishing long enough to know we needed to get the pups out as quickly as possible.
Mathew held the shark as he pulled more of its young from inside
‘It was a very overwhelming feeling when they started popping out, I got this adrenaline rush. I was just dumbfounded there was so many, we counted 98.’
Although Mathew had never performed a c-section before he had heard stories from fellow fisherman.
After rescuing the young Matthew cooked and ate the shark however he added that he didn’t feel bad about doing so as he didn’t want the body to go to waste.
Mathew, who initially thought he had rescued 76 pups in total before discovering 12 more, said: ‘As a fisherman, I catch fish to eat. The meat from this shark fed lots of my family members.
‘I love the ocean and respect they’re an important part of the ecosystem.
‘I think the pups chance of survival are high – they swam off quite healthily.
‘Some people online have said I should have just thrown it back, but they don’t understand how sharks work.’
Mathew Orlov, 46 is an experienced fisherman but has never performed a shark c-section before
Sevengill sharks generally give birth to 70 to 90 live pups after a pregnancy lasting approximately 12 months.
The babies’ chances of survival rests largely on how close their mother was to full term.
But shark expert Jane Williamson, associate professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, cast doubt over whether the premature pups would have survived on their own.
The fisherman searched for more babies inside the mother shark as he continued the operation
Jane said: ‘It is difficult to see what developmental stage the pups are at – I can’t tell if they are developed enough to cope alone.
‘But I can see the pups don’t have a yolk sac, which is a good sign and indicates that they have a chance of survival.’
Barbara Wueringer, director at Sharks And Rays Australia, added: ‘Sharks and rays are known to sometimes abort upon capture, with the abortion likely induced by the stress of capture.
‘So it is likely that this shark, if she had not been bitten by other sharks while hooked, might have aborted her embryos anyway.’