A baby shark with a “human face” has caused a bit of online hubbub in Indonesia today, after a fisherman from Rote Ndao, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) said he found the peculiar creature after cutting up its mother recently.
The bizarre discovery only came to light after the fisherman, identified as 48-year-old Abdullah Fero, went home to cut an adult shark he had caught in his trawl while night fishing over the weekend. Abdullah later told local media outlets that he found three pups in its stomach.
While two of the pups looked like normal sharks, the other pup had two big eyes under its snout and a big mouth, making it appear much like a human.
“I was surprised because I have gone around fishing, even almost crossing Australian waters, but I have never found a shark looking like this,” Abdullah said.
The fisherman said he has since preserved the unique-looking baby shark, which is now drawing curious locals to his home. In addition, photos and videos of the pup are circulating widely online. Abdullah also said someone has offered to pay him for it.
The Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in NTT has yet to respond to Coconuts’ request for comment about the discovery at the time of publication.
Shark fishing is still allowed in Indonesia despite sharks being listed as an endangered species. Indonesian law currently only fully protects the whale shark, also known by its latin name Rhyncodon typus. It is not immediately clear which shark species Abdullah had caught.
A new study published just last month found that overfishing has wiped out over 70 percent of some shark and ray populations in the last half-century. Experts have warned for years that uncontrollable declines in shark population will affect both ocean and human lives.
Read more news and updates from Bali and eastern Indonesia here.