By Sandhya

November 3, 2022

The Australian teen on a task to defend ragged-enamel sharks.

With a menacing grin, needle-like teeth, and a  pointed snout, a gray nurse shark is not a creature  most people would want to encounter. But Shalise Leesfield isn't most people. 

The elderly Australian couldn't think of a better creature to meet when  diving off the coast of South West Rocks near her home in Port Macquarie, a seaside town north of Sydney. 

but I promise you, they're the cutest animals in the world," he says. "They are  so docile and so inquisitive, they are like the farmers of the sea.

Slow-moving sharks that like to live in warm, shallow waters near the ocean floor are mostly harmless to humans.

But the gray nurse shark (aka sand tiger shark and  spotted rag shark) is under threat. 

Populations are fragmented, habitats have been lost due to ocean warming and human development, and extensive fishing has led to  huge declines in numbers.

According to the IUCN, which classifies the species as critically endangered. One area where 

Can still be seen is Fish Rock, an underwater cave with a vibrant and unique ecosystem, 40 miles off the coast of Leesfield's home.


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