WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A massive dead shark was found hanging from the rafters outside Ponte Vedra High School in Jacksonville, Florida on Thursday.
- The incident is believed to be a student prank as Ponte Vedra High’s mascot is a shark.
- An investigation is underway as there are species of sharks that cannot be legally harvested in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is investigating an incident at Ponte Vedra High School in St. Johns County after the discovery of a gigantic dead shark. The carcass was found hanging from the rafters of the school on Thursday, shocking staffers and students.
Investigators sent photos of the shark to FWC marine fisheries biologists to identify the species. In Florida, more than two dozen species of sharks cannot be legally harvested.
The incident is believed to be a student prank as Ponte Vedra High’s mascot is a shark.
“At approximately 9 p.m. … (5/4/22) a group of five high school students at Ponte Vedra High School hung a gutted shark on the rafters of the school courtyard,” according to Alex AuBuchon, public information director for the wildlife commission’s Northeast Region.
AuBuchon added that “the shark was harvested Tuesday night (5/3), gutted, and stored in a freezer prior to being hung.”
The students used two sets of cables to hang the shark over a staircase on the outside of the building. It was discovered Thursday morning by school staffers who cut it down, station WJXT reported.
The carcass was disposed of before FWC was notified, AuBuchon added.
The students were caught in the act of hanging the shark by surveillance cameras at the school. The video has been handed over to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
The ‘prank’ has sparked outrage on social media, with some accusing the students of “wanton waste” while others say it is considered as animal cruelty.
“A prank shouldn’t involve something being killed!” one commenter wrote on Facebook.
Source: Miami Herald