Ten sharks were found in a New York home's 15-foot basement pool by investigators with a search warrant: seven live sandbar sharks, two dead leopard sharks and a dead hammerhead. By the looks of it, the pool had sand at the bottom, with live plants, and a filter.
Authorities haven’t commented on what led them to execute the search warrant at the home in Lagrangeville, in New York’s Dutchess County on Aug. 23, WNBC-TV reported, but an environmental conservation department statement said the home was "suspected of harboring illegal wildlife."
The sharks were in an above-ground pool measuring 15 feet in diameter erected in the home's basement.
"(Wildlife Conservation Society) staff and Long Island/Riverhead staff caught the sharks with ease, took blood, measured length, tagged them, and transferred them to Riverhead's box truck, which is outfitted with plastic tanks, oxygen, and climate control," the statement said.
"A WCS veterinarian assessed the animals' condition. The sharks were escorted to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead for holding until the case is closed. The incident is currently under investigation."
Officials posted photos of the discovery on social media Thursday.
"They are young and range from one and a half feet to probably just under four feet, so they are most likely all between one and three years old," Darlene Puntillo, a spokeswoman for the Long Island aquarium, told the Huffington Post.
Sandbar sharks, the largest and most frequently encountered shark species in New York's coastal waters, have been classified as vulnerable to becoming endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's RedList.
The sandbar shark has been impacted from by-catch commercial fisheries and is desired internationally for their exceptionally large fins. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has banned the recreational take of the sandbar and restricted its commercial harvest to research programs.
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