A dead shark was found hanged outside a Florida high school on Thursday in what a student called a prank.
According to the St. Johns County School District, the shark was discovered at Ponte Vedra High School in Ponte Vedra Beach at 7 a.m. by the school’s maintenance manager. He was removed from the property at 8 a.m.
District spokeswoman Christina H. Upchurch said in an interview with Newsweek On Thursday afternoon, officials determined up to five students were behind the incident, but had no further details.
However, a student who spoke to Florida news station WJXT anonymously said it was a high profile prank.
Provided by St. Johns County School District
Upchurch said pranks for seniors were currently taking place at area schools.
“They’ve been in neighboring districts and ours, and we’re coming to the end of the school year. That’s usually when these types of activities take place,” she said. .
It’s “probably too early to tell if the shark was part of a prank, but like I said, this time of year is usually when we see senior pranks happen,” Upchurch said.
The Ponte Vedra High School mascot is a shark.
The incident is currently being investigated by the district as well as the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Photos shared online by WJTX reporter Marilyn Parker show the shark hanging from ropes above a staircase at the school.
WJXT reported that a biology professor said the species could be a gray shark, but noted that it might be hard to tell for sure from the photos.
The species “prefers coastal and offshore sandy areas of the Florida Gulf and Atlantic” and is “prohibited from recreational and commercial harvesting in Florida State waters,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In another incident in New York last year, a man was convicted of keeping sharks confined in an above-ground swimming pool inside his home. An officer found five live sharks in a circular tank in his truck and the man admitted transporting the sharks to his home, where he said he kept several others.
In October, a man in Australia was charged with removing a locator tag from a shark and triggering false warnings. The man is said to have removed the tag from a great white shark after accidentally grabbing the animal before releasing it.
This month in Australia, a fisherman caught a shark that was being eaten by another large sea creature.