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Fox News
Fox News
22 Apr 2023


A deceased pregnant great hammerhead shark washed up on an Alabama beach on Thursday, officials say.

Beachgoers spotted the shark near the shore in Orange Beach. They pulled the 14-foot animal ashore before the city's coastal resources employees arrived.

Though it was a sad sight, city officials were enthused about the opportunity to examine a shark that was so well-preserved.

"While it was very sad that it passed, we were excited about the rare opportunity of seeing a Great hammerhead in such good condition," the City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources' Facebook post read. "We immediately started contacting various agencies to see who had availability to come gather data from this unique specimen."

NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY CHARGES ITSELF FOR DAMAGING ENDANGERED SPECIES' HABITAT

Body of hammerhead shark on beach

Beachgoers spotted the shark near the shore in Orange Beach, Alabama. Researchers found that she was pregnant. (City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources via Facebook)

Photos show that workers needed to hoist the shark onto a truck to transport her. Employees contacted a Mississippi State University professor about performing an autopsy on the deceased animal.

A research team was promptly sent to study the dead shark.

SHARK ACTIVITY NEAR EAST COAST BEACHES ON THE RISE 

Hammerhead shark hoisted on truck

Photos show that workers needed to hoist the shark onto a truck to transport the deceased shark. (City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources via Facebook)

During the necropsy, researchers found 40 shark pups in the mother's body.

"While it is sad, it is very rare to find a large pregnant female, and the data collected will be tremendously helpful in learning about Great hammerhead fecundity," the Facebook post added.

Deceased hammerhead shark on beach

The city contacted a Mississippi State University professor to perform a necropsy on the deceased animal. (City of Orange Beach Coastal Resources via Facebook)

"We are very thankful that our staff was able to get the shark off of the beach, protected from the elements, and iced down within a few short hours of the initial call," the post added. "This was definitely an experience that we won't forget, and we are grateful to have played a small role in this unique case."