Forget dog and ghost whisperers, Andre Hartman takes the cake with his current title: shark whisperer. Yes it is as cool as it sounds and we have the photo to prove it.
Off the coast of South Africa, near Dyer Island, Hartman greets a great white shark through the water by placing his hand on its snout to put it in a trance and make it open its mouth, the Telegraph reports in their “Pictures of the day” gallery.
Hartman, a South African diving guide, had his first encounter with a great white shark in 1977 according to an article by X-Ray Magazine.
“It tried to bite me! I was spear fishing at the time and carrying a lot of fish,” he told the magazine. “It came in and tried to take me. I saw it coming, so I gave it the gun. It didn’t like it, so it swam away.”
Years later, the Discovery Channel featured him in the documentary “Great White Sharks: Uncaged” where he swam unprotected with a group of the sharks.
Doug Perrine, the American photographer who was able to capture the classic moment, explained Hartman’s technique behind the hypnosis to the Daily Mail.
“This part of the shark’s body is loaded with nerve endings, and the creature’s sensory system became overloaded from the stimulus,” Perrine told the Daily Mail. “The shark seemed to enter a pleasant, but confused state where it was dreamily seeking the source of the stimulus. So there was no trigger for the shark to attack anything.”
‘I was there to obtain pictures of a shark raising its heads out of the water and opening its mouth – as Andre was able to produce,’ explained Doug.
‘The shark was attracted by the scent of the bait that is put out. Andre reached down and tickled the underside of the shark’s snout, while gently lifting up. …
… Great white sharks are classified as a vulnerable species because of the threat to their food by fishing.
They are also the victims of the Asian shark fin industry – where these mighty hunters are killed for just a small part of their body – their distinctive shark’s fin.
These are cut off their bodies and turned into soup, which can cost up to £100 a bowl in China.
Doug explained how Andre perfected his amazing technique for ‘hypnotising’ sharks.
‘Andre is a former spear-fisherman, who had encounters with great white sharks while free-diving and spearing fish in the waters of Cape Province, South Africa,’ said Doug.
‘Although initially terrified, like most people, by the appearance of these massive predators, over years of observation he gradually realised that they are intelligent, curious animals.
‘He understood that sharks are not out hunting people, and it is possible to interact with them with little danger once you understand how they communicate.’ …