Whaaaaaat? That’s bull, you say. Well, bull shark to be exact.
You read that correctly, Kyle Cooper, a former rugby player for the Sharks - a South African rugby team - has saved the life of a Zambezi shark (more commonly known as the bull shark in the rest of the world) after he and his brother were fishing on a beach in Durban.
The shark took the bait but then waves batted it back up the beach, where it became stranded. Having caught it they felt a huge responsibility and the brothers were determined to return it safely to the water...which they did by dragging it back in and swim it out to sea.
Which, even for a strapping rugby player, is easier said than done. There’s even a video of this nail-biting action as it takes place, where you can see the brothers allowing seawater to rush through the shark’s open mouth and gills until they feel it regain its strength.
Soon it is facing open sea and is off, no doubt leaving forward thinking (and forward playing, that’s his position) Kyle Cooper to explain to his coach back in England, he plays for the Newcastle Falcons, why he went all Matt Hooper.
Still, at least he got some training in. They’ll probably say: “Here, that Kyle’s a proper doylem”, (which is Geordie for idiot) as obviously he could have easily been bitten.
At least he and his brother were able to save the shark, and have one hell of a memorable tale about the fish that they were happy to say got away
One thing’s for sure, after tackling a bull shark his next season should seem a doddle.
Words by Dean Newman
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