A shark in a condo pool was barely alive when it was rescued in Florida. A woman who called 911 about the shark said she saw two young men running from the pool, which is located near the shoreline of the Intracoastal Waterway, according to WPTV.
Nicole Bonk was visiting friends at the Mariner’s Cay condo the week before last when she saw two boys carrying the five-foot blacktop shark, with hooks in its mouth, and dump it into the pool at around 11 p.m. She and her husband pulled the shark out and carried it to the Intracoastal Waterway in Hypoluxo.
The husband held the animal by the tail in the water so it could try to flush out the chlorinated water. Then they released it. But officials say it likely died from its time in the chlorinated waters.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are investigating the shark in a condo pool incident and attempting to find evidence from video security cameras around the pool.
“We tried to revive him but he mostly likely did not live,” she said. “He was barely moving after the trauma. We did our best to try to save this creature.” She reported the incident to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, but no officers arrived until the following morning.
The blacktip shark is a species of requiem shark, and part of the family Carcharhinidae. It is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world, including brackish habitats.
Genetic analyses have revealed substantial variation within this species, with populations from the western Atlantic Ocean isolated and distinct from those in the rest of its range. The blacktip shark has a stout, fusiform body with a pointed snout, long gill slits, and no ridge between the dorsal fins. Most individuals have black tips or edges on the pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins. It usually attains a length of 5 feet.
Favored habitats are muddy bays, island lagoons, and the drop-offs near coral reefs; they are also tolerant of low salinity and enter estuaries and mangrove swamps. Although an individual may be found some distance offshore, blacktop sharks do not inhabit oceanic waters.
“These two kids, they came back from fishing and threw this half-dead creature into the pool as a prank,” she said. “They left the shark in the pool to die. I think they’re terrible children because it’s animal cruelty.”
The shark in the condo pool was in Florida for its seasonal migration. Most blacktop sharks are found in water less than 100 feet deep over continental and insular shelves, though they may dive to 210 feet.