No water birth for me, thanks! Locals group together to save premature guitarfish babies after mother gives birth on beach
This is the moment kind-hearted locals helped a fish mother and her premature babies from certain death.
The guitarfish mother was spotted giving birth on the beach to clearly premature babies – who still had their yolk sacs attached.
After seeing the seven babies and their struggling mother on the beach, a mother and daughter were quick to take action.
Realising the desperate situation, they called in a marine biologist before helping the family safely back in the ocean.
Local SPCA members Monica Mans and daughter Elize were at Radford Bay in Luderitz, Namibia when they spotted the unusual sighting.
Unsure of what to do, they called marine biologist Kolette Grobler to ask if guitarfish usually give birth on land or water.
Kolette admits she first thought it was an April Fools joke, as it was the 1st April, before realising the severity of the situation.
Upon arrival at the scene, everyone present helped transfer both mother and her pups to the shallow waters of the beach.
The fish – a harmless species – desperately needed sea water running over their gills in order to extract oxygen for survival.
After about 15 minutes, the fish started to show signs of life and began swimming by themselves.
Guitarfish babies use yolk sacs to obtain nutrition for growth. Usually, they will have absorbed all the yolk by time of birth.
Kolette, 50 said: “I only had time to grab a small ancient little point-and-shoot camera at the office, as there was no time to fetch a better quality camera.
“But this meant I could take the images with one hand whilst with the other hand catching the juveniles and returning them back into deeper water, whenever they floated towards the shore.
“Realising that the opportunity to record such young guitarfish is not a frequent occurrence, I tried to take images of the juveniles from all angles.At the same time we pushed them back into deeper water.
“I estimate the mother would have been dead if she was out on the beach for 60 minutes or longer.
“This was the first time in more than twenty years of daily trips past this beach that I have seen such an occurrence.”