It was not the sort of thing the onetime surfer expected to see on her daily morning walk along Melbourne Beach.
There, not far from the shoreline, Betty Gardner Gonzalez spotted the dead shark in the sand just before sunrise Monday, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
“I walk every morning on the beach and just came across it. It wasn’t there (Sunday),” Gonzalez said of the unusual find. The shark, possibly a sand tiger shark or one of the ragged-tooth variety, was about 6 feet long. Typical species off of Brevard County include lemon, nurse and tiger sharks.
“It was fresh but maybe died a day or so ago. I don’t know if it was full of plastic, or if a fisherman had caught it. There weren’t any big injuries on it,” said Gonzalez, a self-described animal lover whose Facebook page is filled with pictures of her caring for animals.
She even opened the shark’s mouth to see if that would provide any clues.
“I was born and raised here and I surf, so I was curious how it died. It’s not one I’ve seen around here,” she said.
Gonzalez had planned to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about the discovery.
“It’s probably washed away now,” she said.