FWC releases investigation into dead shark hung up at Ponte Vedra High School

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reveals the events that led to an incident where a dead shark was hung from the rafters at Ponte Vedra High School earlier this month.

The report states that five students were involved in the incident and they ranged from 17 to 18 years old. Action News Jax has chosen not to identify the teens because they are not facing charges at this time.

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FWC interviewed the maintenance worker at the school who removed the shark. According to the report, the maintenance worker observed the shark hanging by ropes from a beam on the stairway around 7:30 a.m. on May 5.

He placed a dumpster under the shark before cutting the ropes so that it could land in the dumpster. The shark was then taken to the landfill, the report says.

FWC interviewed the teens and learned that two of them paid a man who was fishing at the Mayport Docks for the shark on May 3.

The report says the two teens decided to use the shark as part of a senior prank and they gutted the dead shark. Afterward, they stored the shark in the yard of their 19-year-old friend.

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On May 4, three other teens were called to help and, as a group, they got into the school and strung the shark up around 9 p.m.

The 19-year-old was a lookout at a nearby Gate Gas Station, according to the report.

FWC gathered the pictures taken by students of the shark and determined that it was a Bull Shark over the legal size of 54 inches.

According to Christina H. Upchurch, chief of communications for the district, the students involved could receive a level 4 discipline infraction and criminal charges are also possible.

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