Photographs of a dead tiger shark, reportedly 18-feet-long, have begun circulating on social media after the animal was purportedly caught off the Australian coastline several weeks ago.
The giant tiger shark was reportedly reeled in off Seven Mile beach in Lennox Head, according to the Daily Mail, though initial reports claimed it may have been caught in a net. Images of the shark were posted to Facebook by Geoff Brooks, who initially asserted that the shark had been killed intentionally following a local attack.
“As far as I’m aware; It was a kill order on a shark here on the far north coast that was identified as being responsible for a local attack… And yes – it’s real.”
I was a bit sceptical but apparently it is real A monster Tiger shark caught at Tweed Heads in NSW Pic: Geoff Brooks pic.twitter.com/xVgPOL1Jco
— Stephen Quartermain (@Quartermain10) August 12, 2015
A local fisherman named Matthew has since stepped forward to take responsibility for landing the shark, but only after he witnessed the massive predator devouring another shark that was already on his line. According to the Northern Star, Matthew claims he was fighting a hammerhead shark when the giant tiger rose from the depths to attack it.
“I was fighting the Hammerhead and he came up and swallowed it… You can’t turn around and go no, don’t touch, to something like that.”
— The Independent (@Independent) August 12, 2015
Matthew, a licensed fisherman, says he caught the tiger shark roughly three weeks ago, 14 miles from Tweed Heads. He also notes that despite its impressive size, the shark is hardly the largest he has seen in the region.
“I’m always on the water; either on it, in it, or under it,” he observed. “I dive with sharks; I love diving with sharks. I’ve dived with sharks bigger than that, it’s only a little one. I’ve seen Tiger Sharks 24-feet-long off Tweed.”
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 10, 2015
Earlier this year, another tiger shark made headlines when it was tagged off the eastern coastline of the United States. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark, named Chessie by researchers, is considered the largest tiger shark ever tagged in the region. One researcher even compared the shark to a great white, positing that her head was the same size as a white shark’s. According to Matthew, that assessment isn’t likely far off.
“Meter for meter, a Tiger Shark’s bite is bigger than a white,” he said. “They just have different teeth and a different biting technique.”
Following its capture, Matthew asserts that the shark was sent to a local fish market. The only proof of its existence besides the photos, he noted, are the tiger shark’s jaws, which he kept as a souvenir.
[Image: Geoff Brooks / Facebook via the Daily Mail]