Footage taken in Perth, Australia has gone viral, revealing an unidentified resident driving with what appears to be a fully grown tiger shark strapped to the front end of their 4WD vehicle.
The video was captured on Monday afternoon by Perth resident Julie Wright and her son, according to ABC. Taken on Safety Bay Road heading towards Kwinana Freeway, it depicts a motorist driving with a two-meter-long tiger shark strapped across their front bumper (also known as a bullbar).
Wright posted the shark video online around 3 p.m. on the Perth & WA Fishing Reports Facebook page, according to Perth Now. It quickly went viral, and in just a few hours, had been viewed over 200,000 times.
Wright recalled that she was stunned when she realized a shark was strapped to the car’s front end. Driving alongside a boat that the vehicle was towing, she noted that she had to “double take,” as she was certain that what she was seeing on the car’s left side was a shark’s tail. Wright then switched lanes so that her 10-year-old son could videotape the strange arrangement.
— Tracking Sharks (@trackingsharks) January 4, 2016
While the local Department of Fisheries has been contacted for comment on the footage, they have yet to make a statement. Their website notes, however, that there is a maximum size limit for tiger sharks caught recreationally in the area surrounding Perth. Specifically, this limit is gauged by a measurement between the shark’s two dorsal fins.
“The ‘inter-dorsal fin’ measurement must be no more than 700mm measured from the front of the dorsal fin on the top of the shark to the back of the smaller rear dorsal fin.”
— PerthNow (@perthnow) January 4, 2016
Commenting on the footage, Josh O’Neil from Perth & WA Fishing Reports observed that the method of transporting the tiger shark was somewhat unusual. He pointed out that anglers will normally transport a fish of that size in their boat, rather than on the front of their car. As the animal appears to be a tiger shark, O’Neil also pointed out that anglers would usually “mount it or even eat it and keep the jaws.”
The strange sighting comes amid an unusual period of shark activity in Australia. Over the weekend, a spearfisherman was attacked in the waters off Queensland, suffering severe lacerations to his arms as he fought off a shark. That incident came just days after more than 60 sharks were observed near the New South Wales coastline. Though that number seems intimidating, experts asserted that it was far from unusual for this time of the year.
— DianeN56 (@DianeN56) January 4, 2016
Australia is home to a wide range of sharks, including bull sharks, great whites, and tiger sharks, the three species most likely to threaten humans. The country recorded 22 unprovoked shark attacks in 2015, resulting in one fatality, while sightings of sharks caused repeated beach closures in populated areas. Though these incidents have intensified pressure on authorities to manage local shark populations, experts point out that the animals do not target humans. Rather, attacks are thought to be instances of misidentification, as sharks mistake people for their normal prey.
— Coastalwatch (@coastalwatch) January 2, 2016
While it is unclear if the tiger shark shown in the video is of an illegal size, the driver of the 4WD could potentially face a fine for a deliberately obscured license plate, WA Today points out.
[Image via Facebook]