A live shark was found in a condo swimming pool in Hypoluxo, Florida, last week. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed the shark was removed from the pool and released in the Intercoastal Waterway without further incident.
Although they are happy nobody was harmed, authorities are currently investigating the incident and attempting to identify two suspects that were observed dumping the shark in the condo pool.
As reported by Sun Sentinel, Nicole Bonk and her husband were visiting a friend at the Mariner’s Cay condominium complex, when they observed two boys carrying the shark into the pool area.
“These two kids… threw this half-dead creature into the pool as a prank… They left the shark in the pool to die. I think they’re terrible children because it’s animal cruelty.”
Nicole believes the boys caught the shark while fishing, as it had several hooks in its mouth. Although it appeared to be in distress, she and her husband pulled the blacktip shark out of the condo pool in an attempt to save its life.
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) January 18, 2016
They carried the five-foot shark to the Intercoastal Waterway, placed it into the water, and watched it swim away. Unfortunately, Bonk said she does not expect it to live.
“We tried to revive him but he mostly likely did not live… He was barely moving after the trauma. We did our best to try to save this creature.”
Although they have not identified the boys who dumped the shark in the condo pool, authorities are in the process of reviewing surveillance footage from cameras placed around the pool area.
For someone with galeophobia, finding a shark in a swimming pool would be a nightmare come true.
Fear.com reports galeophobia is an intense fear of sharks. Those who suffer from the phobia usually avoid swimming in waterways populated by sharks. However, they can also have an irrational fear of swimming pools — although sharks simply cannot tolerate chlorine and are unlikely to live in a pool.
Like most phobias, it is impossible to trace Galeophobia to one specific source. But, the media may have increased the general public’s fear of sharks. Several movies, including Jaws and Deep Blue Sea, portray sharks as fierce predators — which hunt human beings.
In reality, fewer than 200 people have been killed in unprovoked shark attacks in the last 430 years.
The shark found in the condo pool was identified as a blacktip shark, a species found in warm waterways throughout the world.
Although blacktip sharks breed every other year and give birth to between four and ten pups, they are considered a near threatened species. As reported by National Geographic, the biggest threats to the creatures are commercial fishing and loss of habitat.
— KYTX CBS19 (@kytxcbs19) January 17, 2016
Coastal development along the warmer coasts has reduced the blacktip shark’s breeding grounds and habitats.
They are also threatened by commercial fisherman, who harvest the sharks for their meat and fins, which are used for food.
Although they are near threatened, blacktip sharks are plentiful along the Florida coast. In fact, “blacktip sharks are so common in Florida that scientists suspect most bites in the state can be pinned on the shark.” Thankfully, their bites are rarely fatal.
According to the International Shark Attack File, blacktip sharks and blacktip reef sharks were responsible for 39 non-fatal unprovoked attacks between 1580 and 2014. In the same period of time, blacktip sharks and blacktip reef sharks were responsible for only one fatal unprovoked attack.
The fate of the shark found in the condo swimming pool in Florida is unknown. However, as sharks cannot tolerate chlorine, it is not likely that it survived.
[Image via R. Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock]