VENICE (CBS) — A man lifeguards call the “Animal Whisperer” rescued what is believed to be a young great white shark over the weekend.

The baby shark washed ashore near the Venice Pier, a popular fishing spot, Sunday afternoon with a fish hook in its mouth.

Elisa Van Es, a bystander, caught the rescue on tape.

“A group of fisherman came running down and they’re holding the fishing rod . . . and all these people are like ‘Get out of the ocean!’ . . . it was like Jaws, panic ensues,” Van Es said.

During all the commotion, a Venice Beach man who goes by “Willy” showed up to help the injured shark, Van Es said.

“He didn’t say a word to anybody . . . and he just started digging to get the hook out of the shark’s mouth. I don’t know how he didn’t get bit, quite frankly. You could see the rows of teeth,” she said.

Willy and several surfers then dragged the shark back into the ocean.

After the rescue, Van Es said Willy disappeared as quickly as he came to the rescue.

It is unknown if the shark survived.

Scientists say the shores off the Southern California coast are populated with juvenile great white sharks who feed on area marine life.

Comments (24)
  1. Goofy Foot says:


  2. John says:

    It was very cool of those guys to help any species of shark, especially a protected species. Still and all, it made me think of the fable of the lion with a thorn in it’s paw. Just sayin’…

  3. Meg says:

    Poor little sharky. 🙁

    1. Lance ward says:

      Frank it is apparent that you not only lack intelligence You also lack compassion. People like you make me sick. Go back to watching fox news and regurgitate everything they say because I know you can’t think for yourself and obviously shouldn’t.

  4. Sage Advice says:

    As an animal lover, yes, good they saved it. But 5 years from now, it’s going to come back and bite off their leg.

    1. Jen Brock says:

      Okayy, listen. YOUR STUPID.
      Sharks don’t just kill to kill, They kill if they are hungry or feel in danger. What do humans do.. ? They kill some animals for food, and if they feel in danger, sometimes we feel the need to kill. Lots of animals are “KILLERS” .. that doesnt mean they’re any worse than us though . . . And imagine what all those “innocent young” chickens, fish, cows, and MANY other animals could have done to deserve to be killed? nothing. but its the way of life.

    2. JD says:

      Frank are you serious do some research, sharks have been here long before us and they are made of cartilage, just like your nose…which in fact is technically bone! How many people are killed by sharks every year, far less than cars…so should we ban those or hunt them down! You are uneducated when it comes to sharks, we hunt them and it destroys this little thing we call the ecosystem, which in the long term impacts us! Just shut up and do me a favor and one year watch Shark Week! Maybe it will turn your narrow minded brain around, but with your comparison of sharks to human killers I highly doubt this!

    3. Jacob Bailey says:

      Like seriously, you have to be kidding me

    4. Jacob Bailey says:

      You’re a bleep. They ARE animals. And they do feel pain, and the real coldhearted bleeps are you type of people. Go look up how they make shark fin soup. Go see Gordon Ramsey’s response too if you need someone famous to show you you’re being a bleep. They’re in the food chain just like anything else, and they deserve to live just as much as we do. The people locked up in jail have PSYCHOLOGICAL problems. They are bleeped up individuals like yourself. The sharks don’t know much better than their survival instincts. I don’t know of any sharks who say “oh who am I going to go murder today?” It is more like “oh, these floating things on the surface look like ducks or other mammals that I NEED TO EAT TO SURVIVE”. That is how most accidents happen. With all due respect, go bleep a big bleep bleep. This message is censored.

    5. Caidyn SHARKLOVER says:

      Dude, you are a complete IDIOT. Fish are ANIMALS. And actually, sharks have an extremely important role to play in the ocean and that is eating up all of the dead and decaying things that would normally be polluting the water. As far as sharks being killers goes…there are about 534753489 more things on this earth that KILL people than sharks. Car accidents kills thousands every year, I guess we should just get rid of cars. Dogs kill at least four to five times as many people every year…so we should kill dogs on a regular basis. Don’t talk about logic, because yours is entirely skewed by believing everything you see in movies or on TV. You have no idea what you are talking about and frankly, you need to go back to school.

    6. DJBaze says:

      You are clearly an uneducated idiot with no compassion for the other living species that surround you.

    7. Lynn says:

      It is awesome what they did since they do surf in Shark Territory. More people need to be like them and have respect for other living creatures! INNOCENT YOUNG HUMANS SHOULDN’T BE IN THE WATER WITH THEM!

      1. amy lutz says:


  5. Dooner Jenkins says:

    Good surfin’ karma.

  6. mr cricket says:


  7. SSSSSS says:

    That has to be the most annoying camera woman ever. If she said “ahhh” one more time..

  8. tassha says:

    I love the story but I really wanted the woman filming to STFU.

  9. Comic Book Guy says:

    @Frank Jordan – Yes, sharks are cartilaginous fish, but fish ARE animals. Fair point – sharks have killed people, but when this happened, where were the people? Attacks happen when people enter the shark’s realm – the water. It’s not like they walk up on the beach to have a go…

    And if other species’ right to exist is measured by their relative usefulness to mankind, then by what standard is our right to exist measured? Sharks have as much right to live out their lives as any other creature on this planet – they were, after all, around a little before us…

    When a shark attacks a person, it’s not a conscious effort to specifically target people, it’s a shark just being a shark. They’re like nature’s wheel – they’ve been around for millions of years, and have not changed a great deal,as there isn’t really a better design for what they do. I’m not an expert, but I am fascinated with these animals, and treated with the respect and awe due to them, they are truly magnificent animals.

    Kudos to these surfers for saving this one!

  10. shawna shaw says:

    his name is Billy Shaw…. thats my dad 🙂

  11. Christopher Tomlin says:

    This is just craziness. Too crazy for me. I like sharks but just not within arm’s reach.

  12. debra says:

    all i can say is wow, i have studied the great white since the late 1970’s i have about every shark article printed and just thank GOD that someone came to this sharks rssuce, what a heart warming story to start my day… THANK YOU GOD the the man who saved this beautiful creature

  13. TheRupert says:

    That’s not a baby Great White Shark. See the black tips on the fins? Yea, me too. Great Whites do NOT have those…

    Still cool of them to save it though…

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