Trappers trying to snare a shark found in an Indian Harbour Beach pond shifted strategies on Wednesday after fireworks failed to net the big fish.
About noon, the trappers tossed two bird-control firecrackers into the 5-acre pond at Gleason Park from their rowboat. After the second explosion, pier spectators saw the shark surface, said Melbourne wildlife trapper James Dean.
Trappers hope the firecrackers herd the shark toward a culvert at the southwestern corner of the pond. The pipe leads to a smaller, shallower pond.
About 1:40 p.m., the trappers re-entered the pond and extended a net from the western shore to the pier.
Indian Harbour Beach City Manager Mark Ryan estimated that the shark measures up to 4 feet long.
It's not known how the fish, believed to be a bull shark, got into the pond. Bull sharks can live in freshwater.
Dozens of spectators were gawking, and television news vans were parked on the grass.
Retired teacher Dick Ellis, 87, who visits Gleason Park weekly, was surprised to encounter a news helicopter hovering overhead and a gang of about 50 shark-crazed summer-camp kids.
Ellis dubbed the park "a three-ring circus" and "a rodeo."
"Beats sitting at home in front of the boob tube," Ellis said. "If you would see a shark fin emerge, this whole place would erupt."
About 2 p.m., an unidentified male in a car hollered "Shark!" while driving north on South Patrick Drive, drawing stares.
"I knew that was going to happen," Ellis said, laughing.
If caught, the shark will be moved to the Indian River Lagoon.