Footage shows shark thought to have killed tourist near Caribbean beach
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According to CNN, the 500-pound female hammerhead’s corpse was found at Pompano Beach, located just north of Fort Lauderdale, on April 6. Hannah Medd, founder of the American Shark Conservancy, told CNN it was a “pretty rare event”.
She said: “We get a call for maybe one to four a year that have washed back up.
“You never want to see an animal this big laying on the beach.
“It’s a female, so it’s always sad when a female passes.”
An eerie picture posted by the local shark conservancy group showed the shark’s unborn pups laid out on the sand.
Ms Medd, whose team was subsequently called in to take samples, said the beached creature which weighed approximately 500 pounds, was pregnant.
According to the reports, a crowd gathered to watch as a construction crew came in with heavy equipment to remove the shark, using a Bobcat to move it out of the water.
Pompano Beach resident Kevin Nosal said the crew brought in a Bobcat to shift the shark, not wanting it to slip back into the water.
During their inspection, the team found a hook in the hammerhead’s mouth, which suggested it may have been caught and released by an angler.
This could have caused the creature to succumb to shock and wash ashore.
Medd told Local 10 News: “There is some fishing line in her gills, and from earlier pictures, there was a large hook in the side of her mouth, which indicates she was probably involved in fishing.
“It [the death] may have to do with post-release mortality, which means the species in particular gets a little stressed out when it’s caught, it fights really hard.”
Now, the group continues to advocate for better catch-and-release protocols.
However, researchers noted that because the creature is “really good at fighting” it can act as a lure for thrill-seeking anglers looking to challenge themselves.
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Meanwhile, a recent study found that, despite their dwindling numbers, great hammerheads are the fifth most common shark species in south Florida with the most common being a nurse shark, followed by the blacktip, lemon and then bull shark.
They can reach as long as 18 feet and live for more than 20 years, so long as they’re not targeted by commercial fishing groups for their fins.
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