Trophy hunters steal head of ultra-rare shark after it washed up on Brit beach

An unknown trophy hunter stole the head of a rare shark after it washed up on a UK beach.

The beast was discovered by mum-of-two Alisha Openshaw over the weekend on Lepe Beach where people regularly “swim without a care in the world”.

Alisha discovered the beast in shallow waters and thought she had rescued the beast after dragging it deeper into deeper waters on March 17.

READ MORE: Super-rare 6ft shark with razor sharp teeth 'never found in UK' washes up on beach

Sadly the 6ft shark was dead on Friday (March 17) on another part of the beach just hours later.

Once checked by experts, it emerged that it was a super-rare smalltooth sand tiger shark, which has never previously been seen in the United Kingdom.

History Channel's Dan Snow shared an image of the shark on Twitter over the weekend.

He said: "So I'm as shark positive as the next woke dude but what in the hell is this fish that just washed up on my local beach where I regularly swim without a care in the world?"

But when volunteers headed to the Hampshire coast in the early hours of March 19 to recover the shark for an autopsy and further investigations, part of the creature was missing.

The creature is considered 'vulnerable' on the Red List of Threatened Species and is known to be non-aggressive towards humans despite its razor-sharp teeth.

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The deepwater shark can grow to 12ft in length and can weigh up to 289 kg, and there are estimated to be fewer than 250 adult sand tiger sharks left in the world.

While most hunters only take so-called trophies from animals they’ve killed themselves, this individual is believed to have taken the easy root.

According to the LadBible, Snow said: "We have recovered a good chunk of [the shark] but some trophy hunters got there just before us and … they took the head”.

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"They chopped the head off, and the dorsal fin and the tail, which is really really disappointing because the scientists and marine biologists who sent us down there to try and secure the carcass in this once-in-a-lifetime find in British waters were really hoping they'd get the teeth, they'd get the head to do isotopic analysis."

The trophy hunters have now been urged to come forward in hope that scientists can study the animal.

Though Snow admits his please may be “futile”.

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He also shared a video of scientists collecting the organs, adding: "Please spread the word locally: we need that head. It's a once-in-a-lifetime discovery of this kind of shark in these waters.

“Scientists want to study the brain and other bits."

Snow assured the hunters they could keep the skull 'no problem', saying it wasn't against the law, but requested that they simply gave experts the chance to 'let people have a look at it, do some great science [and] learn a lot about this animal'.


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