MNN Galleries

10 odd ways we protect endangered species

By: Laura Moss on Sept. 10, 2010, 11:50 a.m.
Men hand-tag a great white shark

Photo: Linda Staverees/Wildlife Conservation Society

8 of 12

Tagging

Tagging endangered animals for research purposes is commonplace these days and relatively safe — unless you're tagging an angry great white shark by hand. Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society recently did just that, tagging great whites ranging in size from 6 to 13 feet and weighing as much as 1,650 pounds.

How do they do it without losing their hands or their lives? A shark is caught on a hook and maneuvered into a metal cradle, which lifts it out of the water. While a satellite tag is attached to the animal’s dorsal fin, seawater is pumped through its mouth and gills and drugs and vitamins are injected into the shark to help it recover from stress. The entire process lasts about 15 (terrifying) minutes.