Dead Shark Found Hanging Outside High School, Student Claims It Was a Prank

A dead shark was found hanging outside of a Florida high school on Thursday in what one student claimed was 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. It was removed from the property by 8 a.m.

Christina H. Upchurch, a spokesperson for the district, said in an interview with Newsweek Thursday afternoon that officials have determined that up to five students were behind the incident, but didn't have further details.

However, a student who spoke with Florida news station WJXT anonymously said that it was a senior prank.

Dead shark at Ponte Vedra High School
A dead shark was found hanging outside of Ponte Vedra High School in Florida on Thursday in what one student claimed was a prank. Provided by the St. Johns County School District

Upchurch said that senior pranks are currently taking place in area schools.

"They have taken place in neighboring districts and ours, and we are coming to the end of the school year. This is typically when those types of activities occur," she said.

Whether the shark was part of a prank is "probably too soon to say, but like I said, this time of year is typically when we see senior pranks occur," Upchurch said.

Ponte Vedra High School's 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 journalist Marilyn Parker show the shark dangling from ropes above a stair case at the school.

WJXT reported that a biology professor said that the species could be a sandbar shark, though noted that it could be hard to tell for certain from the photos.

The species "prefers coastal and offshore sandy areas of the Florida Gulf and Atlantic coasts" and it is "prohibited from recreational and commercial harvest in Florida state waters," according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In a separate incident in New York last year, a man was convicted for keeping sharks confined in an above-ground pool inside his home. An officer found found five live sharks in a circular tank in his truck and the man admitted to transporting the sharks to his home, where he said he kept several others.

In Australia in October, a man was accused of taking a location tag off of a shark and setting off fake warnings. The man allegedly removed the tag from a great white shark after accidentally catching the animal before releasing it.

This month in Australia, fisherman caught a shark that was being eaten by another large sea creature.