8ft shark discovered on beach
An angler came in for a surprise when he found an 8ft basking shark on Deal beach.
The creature was discovered by Paul Shadbolt who was beach cleaning just north of the pier on Friday morning.
Basking sharks eat plankton and pose no threat to humans.
They have large mouths to allow them to take in large amounts of the tiny plankton.
Mr Shadbolt, who has been fishing for 20 years, said: “I think it may have died from malnourishment because basking sharks are not as thin as that. Plank- ton is usually found in warm, clear water, and right now the sea around here is neither. So I think it didn’t have enough and gave up the ghost. “It was a very sad sight.” Mr Shadbolt reported it to the RSPCA. He added: “I think it died very recently on the beach, the body was still fresh and also soft and pliable. The body was intact, there were no bite marks. There was a clear flesh wound on a fin, which is from probably when it rolled on the shingle. Looking at the size of the tail I first thought it was probably part of the whale family. But it didn’t have the face of something like a porpoise. Its huge mouth and small teeth made me sure it was a basking shark.”
A spokesman for Dover District Council confirmed the authority was making disposal arrangements.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “If you see a distressed or injured creature, which is stranded on the coastline please contact the RSPCA or British Divers Marine Life Rescue.”
Contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or BDMLR on 01825 765546.