The Discovery Channel (search) is putting the finishing touches on a quickly produced documentary about an 11-year-old boy who was mauled last month by a shark and saved himself using a maneuver he learned ... on the Discovery Channel.
The film is being produced and rushed onto the air just about five weeks after the attack occurred.
Aaron Perez (search) was mauled by a bull shark in shallow water while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on a beach in Texas on July 25, and the show about the incident, tentitively titled, "Shark Attack: A Boy's Fight to Survive," will air on Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.
"It's a rare, heartrending story of a beautiful 11-year-old boy who was suddenly part of every parent's nightmare: wrestling with a shark in the surf, and he survived to talk about it," says Stephen Reverand, Discovery's vice president of production and executive producer of the shark show.
While he was being attacked, the quick-thinking Perez freed himself from the beast using a maneuver he says he learned the night before while watching a show on Discovery.
"It's one of those tragedy-to-good news stories that we felt was worth rushing to air," he says.
The special will include a reenactment of the attack and interviews with Perez and his parents.
"I was watching TV the day before and I saw that on the Discovery Channel," Perez told the "Today" show earlier this month of how he escaped from the shark's jaws.
He described the shark as "big and ugly," adding, "he was bigger than my dad."
Discovery officials can't figure out what show Perez - whose parents describe as an educational TV junkie - was watching. This year's edition of the channel's annual Shark Week (search) programming fest started the day of the attack.
The boy has watched so many TV shows about sharks, he once admonished his mother for swimming at the beach while wearing shiny jewlery that might attract the toothy creatures, says Reverand.
Perez, his father, Blas, and family friend Don Townes were fishing in waist-deep water when the attack occurred. Perez had just hooked a sea trout and was showing it off to his dad when a large bull-shark, a species famous for attacking humans in shallow water, bit his leg and clamped down on his right forearm.
Perez' father and Townes rushed over and began whacking the shark with the fishing poles while the boy repeatedly punched it in the gills until it let go.
He was quickly air-lifted to a nearby hospital where surgeons spent four hours saving his savaged arm.