Decapitated Shark Spurs Investigation In Newport Beach

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Great White Shark (Photo via Oceanic Ramsey on Instagram)

The photo of a headless juvenile great white shark made its way around social media this week before sparking an official investigation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Details remain sketchy at best, with at least one person claiming the decapitated fish was found in Newport Beach, while Newport Beach spokeswoman Tara Finegan earlier denied that it was found on its beaches. But one thing is clear: this mutilation was the work of a human.

According to California State law, it is illegal to hunt or kill great white shark. If you catch one by accident, you're supposed to release immediately. One theory is that the shark was gutted for meat. If that's the case, Dr. Chris Lowe of the CSLB Shark Lab told KTLA, "People really shouldn't eat these young sharks because one of our studies has found that they have some of the highest contaminant levels found in any sharks." If a human consumed this shark meat, it could very easily get mercury poisoning.

Here's to hoping social media can come through on this one and do one of the few unassailable things it's capable of: outing crimes against nature.