Viral footage of a 7-foot hammerhead shark being pulled from the waters of Panama City Beach, Fla., and then appearing to give birth on the beach is part fish tale.
Yes, the hammerhead was hauled from the ocean Monday at St. Andrews State Park by a young fisherman, as the video above shows.
But that was no lady shark, as reported by many outlets, and those little fish scurrying back into the water were not hammerhead pups. The adult was a male and the little swimmers were remoras, fish that hitch a ride on bigger fish, University of Florida shark expert George Burgess told Canada's Global News. Other corrective reports have begun circulating as well.
An initial story by local TV station WMBB made no mention of a birth. But the footage still touched off an Internet feeding frenzy about both the alleged delivery and the way the shark was treated. Many on YouTube postings and elsewhere called the encounter another instance of man harassing marine life.
Park ranger Brian Addison said the fisherman may have been pulling the shark to shore to retrieve a hook caught in its mouth. The WMBB story also noted that rangers did try to coax the shark back out to sea before it died.
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