Woman picks up shark ‘like a toddler,’ puts it where it belongs; video

A courageous Australian woman has been dubbed the Shark Wrangler after rescuing a shark that had been swept into the Oak Park rock pool in Cronulla, just south of Sydney.

The shark became trapped when it rode a wave or ocean surge into the rock pool that is separated from the ocean by a wall.

Sydney real estate agent Melissa Hatheier corralled the shark, picked it up "like a toddler" and tossed it back into the ocean, as reported by The Telegraph.

Her daughter Shannon captured video of the rescue, and the footage has made Hatheier a hero, as well as a viral sensation. The Cronulla Real Estate Facebook page referred to her as “our in-house Shark Wrangler”:

The shark was a Port Jackson shark, said to be harmless to humans. Still, rescuing it isn’t something most people would attempt.

Hatheier was told about the trapped shark by her mother, who swims in the pool every morning.

"So I came down, there was a bit of a crew here, and had a look and he was a little Port Jackson and was doing laps of the pool," she told Channel 9's Today show, according to The Telegraph.

"He was getting stressed because he was bumping into the rocks and I was thinking I just need to put him back where he is meant to be.

"I jumped in and I thought, 'I reckon I can probably get him out.' And mum called 000, so the police came down as well. And they didn't know what to do. So I said, 'I think I can just grab him.'

The Oak Park rock pool near Sydney, Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Google Maps

"So I herded him into the shallows and then I just sort of got on my knees. With his fins, I picked him up and helped him back."

Hatheier said she made sure to grab it around the neck so it couldn't swing around and bite her, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. She said the shark felt like sand paper.

"I picked him up and thought 'he's not even that heavy. He's like a toddler,'" she said, according to news.com.au. "It was pretty funny."

The crowd of onlookers cheered after she tossed the shark into the ocean, to which she raised her arms in triumph. She was cheered online, too.

"Nominate this lady for a Nobel Prize," one man wrote on Facebook.

"Not all heroes wear capes," another wrote.

"Well done, Mel," wrote another. "That shark owes its life to you."

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