Surfer Todd Endris owes his life to a pod of bottlenose dolphins.
In late August, Endris was surfing in Monterey, California when a great white shark came out of nowhere and hit him three times, peeled the skin of his back and chewed his right leg to the bone.
Endris needed a miracle to get away from the shark. But then a pod of dolphins formed a protective ring around the injured surfer which allowed him to get to shore.
After four months, Endris is still going through physical therapy to repair muscle damage from the shark attack.
The shark was estimated at 12 to 15 feet long. Endris said the shark came out of nowhere and hit him first when he was sitting on his surfboard. Fortunately, Endris’ stomach was against the surfboard, so his internal organs were protected from the shark.
When the shark tried to attack his right leg, Endris was able to kick the shark in the head and snout with his left leg until the shark let go.
The dolphins then circled Endris which kept the shark away. This allowed Endris to get back on his surfboard and ride back to the shore and safety.
It is uncertain why dolphins protect humans, but according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, dolphins have been rescuing humans since ancient Greece.
Last year in New Zealand, four lifeguards were saved from sharks by dolphins forming a protective ring around them.