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Tiger shark washes ashore on Juno Beach

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 19:21:41-04

The pictures got our attention, so we sent a reporter to check out the huge shark that washed ashore on Juno Beach.

Patricia Fichner and her friends spotted a 6-foot tiger shark weighing more than 250 pounds. “We saw the Florida wildlife looking at it and told us it is here and it is dead and that's when we started paying attention to it,” said Fichner, who lives in the Acreage.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer arrived to investigate.

“I'm sad it died,” said Ryan Williams, from Jupiter Farms. “Particularly tiger sharks they're rare to see.”

Williams jumped in to help pull the shark ashore. "I was surprised by how heavy she was,” said Williams.

Ryan Walton, who studies and dives with sharks, found a tag on her from the University of Miami. “I wanted to come and see if it was one of the animals I know,” said Walton.

Witnesses discovered the shark with a large fishing hook in her mouth.

“It bothers me,” said Walton. “I'm choked up right now.”

One possibility how she died is someone was shark fishing in deep waters.

“The fact that fisherman can sit here and fish them in on the beach, the stress levels are always almost enough to kill the animal,” explained Walton.

For over than hour, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists performed a necropsy, studying blood and fin samples to help determine the cause of death.

“They'll take that information to try to determine the patterns and the behavior of the shark,” said Carol Lyn Parrish, a spokeswoman for FWC.

Lab results will be available in a few weeks.

The shark has been removed from Juno Beach.