Students bought shark used in gory senior prank, gutted it

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Florida Fish and Wildlife released a 15 page report Tuesday detailing how five students worked to get the shark on school property.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Warning: Photos shown in the video attached to this story are graphic. View at your own risk.

It was a hoax that involved five Ponte Vedra High School students playing a senior prank, according to a15 page report from Florida Fish and Wildlife which details the efforts they took to hang a dead shark found on campus last Thursday morning.

“The videos and photos that we saw were shocking. Completely disturbing,” said Ken Montville, senior education projects manager for PETA.  The organization sent the St. Johns County School district a letter, asking for ’empathy’ lessons be taught to students and show ‘kindness to animals.’

“Anyone who could haul a shark out of the water, gut them and then hang them from the rafters of a school as a sort of prank shows the clear disregard of the lives of animals,” Montville told First Coast News. 

FWC says two students were at the Mayport Docks Tuesday when a stranger caught the bull shark and offered him $100 for it. 

The students then gutted the shark and stored it at another friend’s home. 

FWC says one student posted about the catch on Snapchat.

Five teenage students were part of the plan to use a ‘pulley system’ to hoist the shark, according to the report.

First Coast News is not naming the students because they have not been criminally charged.

“I think that it’s really important for everyone to be aware of all the regulations that are placed on shark fishing,” said Dr. Jim Gelsleichter, an associate professor of Biology at UNF.  He wants this case to serve as a reminder for people to become aware of the laws against catching and harvesting marine life.

FWC says the catch was legal.  The length of the shark exceeded minimum requirements and bull sharks are not a protected species.

The school districts says it applied consequences against the students in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and referred them to the district’s discipline committee.



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