A fisherman performed a caesarean section on a dead shark he accidentally caught and released 98 pups into the wild.
Mathew Orlov, 46, hooked the sevengill 8ft 8in shark off the coast of Barwon Heads in Victoria, Australia.
He said the female had been attacked by another shark and had died before he captured it, but noticed the stomach of the animal was moving.
Mr Orlov then cut open the dead shark to remove the pups, which took nine minutes.
Whether or not the sharks will survive without the mother is unknown.
“As soon as she was on the boat we saw the seven bite marks from another shark," he said.
“I could feel through 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.
“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.”
Mr Orlov said he cooked and ate the dead shark.
“As a fisherman, I catch fish to eat. The meat from this shark fed lots of my family members,” he said.
“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.”
Sevengill sharks live for around 30 years and give birth to large litters of between 80 and 95 pups.
Large sharks, such as great whites, can be a threat to sevengill sharks.
Reports of cannibalism among sevengills have also been recorded.
Sevengill sharks are under threat from water pollution and being accidentally hooked as bycatch. They are also hunted for their meat for human consumption and for liver oil.
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