A shark thought to be rare in the UK has had its head and tail cut off after it was found dead on a beach.
On Saturday, locals walking on Lepe beach in Hampshire discovered a dead shark which was later spotted without its head, tail and fin.
Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow saw the shark and tweeted that a biologist he knew said it was an “exceptionally rare visitor to these shores”.
He asked for the head to be returned so scientists could study it.
Mr Snow tweeted a video at 01.00 GMT from a road near the beach where he and a group of local people had dragged the 8ft-long (2.4m) shark to try to safeguard it .
“We have recovered a good chunk of it but some trophy-hunters got there just before us and they took the head and the dorsal fin on the tail,” he said.
This was “really disappointing”, he added, since he and the group had been asked by scientists “to secure this carcass of this once-in-a-lifetime find in British waters”.
Mr Snow said researchers were hoping to see the teeth and head for their research as they believed it could be a smalltooth sand tiger shark, usually found in warmer waters.
He said it was a rare opportunity to have access to the shark and scientists who contacted him wanted to study it as they told him it could “help us learn about our oceans and the ocean health and climate change”.
“Probably a futile thing here,” he added. “But if anybody in the local area has got the head, you can keep the head there’s no law against that. But can you let the scientists have a look at it first.”
The Zoological Society of London will be collecting the remains of the shark on Tuesday to study it.
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