Greenland shark is pictured before it was dragged to deeper water, so it could swim away. Courtesy of Derrick Chaulk

Greenland shark is pictured before it was dragged to deeper water, so it could swim away. Courtesy of Derrick Chaulk

It wasn’t exactly CPR, thankfully for rescuers, because the victim was a large shark choking on a massive chunk of moose flesh, but it was a heroic effort nonetheless.

The bizarre incident occurred on Newfoundland’s northeast coast. Derrick Chaulk was driving on a harbor road in Norris Arm North when he spotted a large creature on the beach.

He thought it was a whale, but it turned out to be an 8-foot Greenland shark, with a hunk of flesh and fur sticking out of its mouth.

Upon closer inspection Chaulk noticed that the shark was still alive.

Fortunately, another local named Jerry Ball arrived and he was the one who went to work on the business end of the shark.

“A couple of yanks and it just came right out,” Chaulk, describing the removal of the moose hide, said in a CBC story published Thursday.

The men roped the shark’s tail and teamed to pull it into deep enough water so it could swim off.

“He pulled the rope, and I pushed with my boot,” Chaulk said.

The men became concerned when the shark refused to swim off. “Then, all of a sudden, the water started coming out of its gills and he started breathing,” Chaulk said.

An unusual story, to be sure.

Greenland sharks, which can measure 20 feet, typically reside in deep water, where their only reliable companions are parasitic copepods that feed on their corneal tissue (the sharks suffer some eye damage, but the bioluminescent copepods glow and lure fish closer to feeding sharks.)

But a Greenland shark’s prey also includes large marine mammals, such as seals, and occasionally even land mammals.

According to, “If something looks like food, this shark will gobble it down.”

Prey items of captured Greenland sharks have included horse and bear meat.

To that list we can now add moose.

Greenland sharks live in and around Greenland, and elsewhere in the North Atlantic. They’re also called sleeper sharks, because of their listless behavior.

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