Dead whale shark washes ashore on Southwest Florida beach

SANIBEL, Fla. - (WBBH/NBC) - A dead whale shark washed up on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida over the weekend.

Marine biologists believe the 10-foot long fish washed up either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

The whale shark's death has raised concerns about water conditions in the area including red tide. 

Marine biologists say it's too early to know how the animal died.

More research is needed to determine if whale sharks are susceptible to red tide.

Tissue samples will need to be collected for toxicology reports and the results could take anywhere from a few days to a week.

Courtesy WBBH via NBC News Channel