People hacked up a rare shark that washed up on a beach and made off with its head and tail. A historian is begging them to bring these pieces back.

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  • British historian Dan Snow is begging people to return parts of a dead shark that washed up in the UK.

  • He said it was not illegal to take its parts, but he urged them to let scientists study it first.

  • The smalltooth sand tiger is a critically endangered species of shark native to New Zealand.

A rare smalltooth sand tiger shark washed ashore in the UK on Saturday, and before scientists could get to it, people had already hacked off and taken its head and tail.

The six-foot-long dead shark washed up on Lepe Beach in Hampshire, per The Guardian. British historian and TV presenter Dan Snow first tweeted about it on Sunday.

"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?" he tweeted.

He then tweeted that he was asked by biologist Ben Garrod to secure the fish safely — but before he could get to it, someone had decapitated the shark and made off with its head and tail.


"We have recovered a good chunk of it, but some trophy hunters got there just before us," Snow said in a video he posted on Twitter. "The head, tail, and fin were grabbed before I get assemble a big enough team to drag it off the beach to the nearest road," Snow wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

This was disappointing because the shark was a "once-in-a-lifetime" find in British waters, and its teeth and brain could be useful to study and do analyses on, Snow said.

Snow added that while it was not against the law to take parts of fish that had washed ashore, he pleaded with them to let scientists take a look at the parts first, and then they could "keep skull - no problem!"

"Let the scientists have a look and then it's yours to keep," he tweeted on Sunday.

British biologist Ben Garrod told the BBC that the shark's discovery could be a significant one that allows scientists to determine the shark's feeding patterns and water temperatures in international waters.

"Every time we see a whale breaching or a shark washing up, this is like finding a Roman hoard or Viking daggers," Garrod told the BBC.

There was still a fair bit of the shark left for Snow to collect. Snow posted a video of himself on Twitter bagging up organs from the shark, which he said will be sent to the Zoological Society of London to be studied this week.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the smalltooth sand tiger shark as a vulnerable species on its red list of threatened species — estimating that there are less than 200 such sharks left in the wild.

Dan Snow and representatives for Ben Garrod and the Zoological Society of London did not immediately reply to Insider's requests for comment.

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