The term “shark” conjures up nightmarish scenes of blood and gore, mostly thanks to Hollywood flicks like Jaws and the sensationalism of the media. However, one look at the cute relationship between diver Rick Anderson and his “pet” shark will definitely change your mind.
Anderson, a scuba diving instructor from New South Wales, first came into contact with his pet Port Jackson shark when it was just a 6-inch-long hatchling, just off the coast of Nobbys Beach.
“Just to show students how friendly sharks were, I coaxed it into my hand and patted it.
“Then I saw it every couple of months and would give it a pat,” Anderson explains how his relationship with the shark began while diving with some of his students, reported The Daily Telegraph.
The female Port Jackson shark always swims close to him whenever he is in the waters and waits for him to cuddle and pat her. And even though she has now grown to about 1.7 meters, the shark is still fond of Anderson.
Anderson hopes that his camaraderie with his pet shark will help in reducing the fear people have for these creatures.
“The biggest misconception about sharks is that they are all mindless killers lying in wait for people to enter the water so they can be devoured,” he told The Dodo.
In addition to Port Jackson sharks, he also swims with other species like tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, great white sharks, and so on.
After seeing Anderson’s relationship with the shark, it can be said that we still have a lot to learn about dealing with creatures who share the planet with us.