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Man Rescues Injured Great White Shark Near Venice Pier

VENICE (CBS) — A man lifeguards call the "Animal Whisperer" rescued what is believed to be a young great white shark over the weekend.

The baby shark washed ashore near the Venice Pier, a popular fishing spot, Sunday afternoon with a fish hook in its mouth.

Elisa Van Es, a bystander, caught the rescue on tape.

"A group of fisherman came running down and they're holding the fishing rod . . . and all these people are like 'Get out of the ocean!' . . . it was like Jaws, panic ensues," Van Es said.

During all the commotion, a Venice Beach man who goes by "Willy" showed up to help the injured shark, Van Es said.

"He didn't say a word to anybody . . . and he just started digging to get the hook out of the shark's mouth. I don't know how he didn't get bit, quite frankly. You could see the rows of teeth," she said.

Willy and several surfers then dragged the shark back into the ocean.

After the rescue, Van Es said Willy disappeared as quickly as he came to the rescue.

It is unknown if the shark survived.

Scientists say the shores off the Southern California coast are populated with juvenile great white sharks who feed on area marine life.

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