A video capturing a unique interaction between a dog and a baby shark is enchanting animal lovers on social media.
In a video posted to TikTok under the handle kalalakoala02anka, a small canine can be seen happily following an infant bonnethead shark as they quickly swim through shallow waters.
The dog keeps up the entire time and never takes her eyes off the shark, who appears happy to play chase with its new furry friend.
“Strange friends,” the caption posted alongside the clip by the dog’s owner reads. “Please note the baby hammerhead [sic] was not harmed at all by the dog! She followed the shark curiously and I kept an eye on both the whole time.”
At the time of writing, the video had been watched over 5.4 million times on the social media platform with many viewers left in awe of the dog’s almost instantaneous bond with the shark.
You can watch the video below:
@kalalakoala02 strange friends *please note the baby hammerhead was not harmed at all by the dog! she followed the shark curiously and i kept an eye on both the whole time 🙂 #foryou #fyp ♬ original sound – fevernostalgia
Dogs are often considered among the most friendly animal species on the planet. What many may not realize, however, is that research suggests they may have become hardwired to be like that.
In 2017, a study published in Science Advances highlighted how a team of scientists was able to identify a gene in dogs that was absent from wild wolves and caused a noticeable difference between the two species.
In humans, these genes were associated with Williams-Beuren syndrome, a rare genetic disorder with a range of symptoms including, most notably, indiscriminate friendliness.
They identified these genes as being crucial to a dog’s ability to quickly bond with humans and other species – such as, in this instance, sharks.
The viral clip may present a prime example of these genes in action – a wild wolf may well have tried to attack the shark. Most people watching the footage on social media were more struck by the simple cuteness of it all.
“Just a dog walking his shark,” one user wrote. “This is so cute,” another said. A third asked: “Is bro trying to herd the shark?” with a fourth commenting: “this is so…beautiful.”
Elsewhere, one TikToker responded: “Cuteness overload” with another adding: “Dogs are such curious creatures.”
The video comes hot on the heels of footage showing a rottweiler carrying a baby shark during a beach walk.
The most unique interaction between a dog and another species was reported at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park last year, where a German shepherd somehow wound up inside the park’s gorilla enclosure.