By Ellie Duncombe
This incredible sawfish rescue was captured on camera after two hunters spotted the ensnared fish in the shallows.
The unfortunate sawfish had become entangled with a bungee cord as it scoured the subtropical waters.
W. T. Pearson and his friend Jason Bihari were out duck hunting in Naples, Florida when they came across the tangled beast.
The real estate broker, 28, called for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to come and help in the rescue of the rare endangered beast.
He said: “I was wading through some shallows trying to sneak up on some ducks that were swimming around some of the mangrove coves and I almost stepped on the sawfish in hip deep water.
“The sawfish moved around a little bit, and we were able to push the boat to keep up with it without spooking it.
“When they got back to me, we were able to get a noose around the sawfish’s bill, pull its head out of the water, cut the cord, and successfully release the sawfish within a matter of seconds.
“The sawfish was noticeably lethargic, but it swam off and was spotted near a marina a few days later, apparently healthy. We reported the sighting to the international sawfish encounter group in Gainesville as well.
“It was a great feeling knowing that we made a difference in the life of such a rare fish. It was extremely satisfying to successfully cut the cord off the sawfish and watch it swim away.
“The sawfish, from what I understand, utilize the Charlotte Harbor shallows as a breeding ground, and aren’t common many other places on earth.
“I think it is important to recognize that, as hunters, and as human beings, we have a responsibility to the environment to make an effort to leave it in as good, or better condition, than when we arrived.”