This incredible sawfish rescue was captured on camera after two hunters spotted the ensnared fish in the shallows.
Florida resident Jason Bihari was initially excited when he and his hunting buddy spotted a rare smalltooth sawfish in the shallows of Charlotte Harbor, Florida, on Jan. 20. However, it was only when they leaned in to take a photograph that they discovered the creature had a bungee cord wrapped around its head, according to Earth Touch News Network.
Bihari, an experienced recreational fisherman, immediately reached out to local wildlife authorities to seek assistance in freeing the sawfish.
In a Facebook post, Bihari said: “I wondered how many people wouldn’t have taken the time,” reported Earth Touch News. “We made six or seven phone calls before we could actually get a person [to come out on a] Saturday. I didn’t think for a second not to.”
With the help of Florida Fish and Wildlife workers, Bihari was able to cut the fish free later in the day. The video of the rescue shows the sawfish’s toothy rostrum, or “saw”, being immobilized with a pole snare so Bihari could cut it free.
“It was cool, but also a little sad,” Bihari said of the rescue. “The fish didn’t have a lot of fight in it.”
The smalltooth sawfish is a critically endangered species found in tropical or subtropical waters around the Atlantic. A fully grown sawfish can reach up to 18 feet. However th, rescued sawfish was still a juvenile judging by its size, reported Earth Touch News.
While the rope appeared to have cut deep into the the fish’s tissue at the time of the rescue, the sawfish has reportedly been sighted since, and was “doing well,” according to Bihari.
Credit: Caters News Agency