Death of California great white shark prompts criminal investigation

Death of California great white shark prompts criminal investigation

Outdoors

Death of California great white shark prompts criminal investigation

What caused the death of a 9-foot great white shark found dead on a Central California beach last Sunday? Perhaps a better question is who caused the death of the apex predator?

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife launched a criminal investigation after performing a necropsy on Tuesday.

Woman poses with a great white shark to provide a sense of scale. Photo: ©Giancarlo Thomae

“Upon receiving the lab’s necropsy results, our law enforcement division is now taking up the investigation,” Peter Tira, spokesman for CDFW, told KSBW8.

The agency declined to reveal why it suspected foul play, perhaps not wanting to jeopardize the investigation.

Reached Thursday by USA Today, Tira said, “I don’t have any more detail at this point.”

The carcass was discovered Sunday morning in Aptos in Santa Cruz County. There were facial wounds, perhaps caused during a recent struggle with a sea lion. But there was nothing immediately visible to indicate how the shark might have been killed.

Giancarlo Thomae, a marine biologist who helped transport the shark to a UC Santa Cruz facility for the necropsy, said several juvenile great white sharks are feeding in shallow water in the Aptos area, and that they’re often clearly visible to boaters.

Great white sharks are protected in state waters. Fishing for white sharks has been banned since 1994.

–Woman poses with a great white shark to provide a sense of scale. Photo: ©Giancarlo Thomae

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