Biologists caught a 7-foot-long shark that had become a tourist attraction by making daily incursions into knee-high water on a Spanish beach, wrestling it with their bare hands and dragging it ashore.
The 110-pound sandbar shark — not generally associated with attacks on humans — first showed up early last week at a beach called Miracle in northeast Tarragona province, forcing authorities to close off the water to bathers.
The fish turned into a novelty by swimming regularly into plain view in very shallow water. Bathers gathered daily to snap photos. Police fined several people who ventured into the water to splash around with it.
A team of three biologists from the Barcelona Aquarium waded in Monday and, after two failed attempts before a crowd of hundreds, finally managed to capture the flailing shark with their hands. They quickly stuck its snout into a net to keep it from biting.
Two of the rescuers were slightly injured with cuts and scratches from the shark’s fins.
The team put the fish into a tank and trucked it for a police-escorted ride to the aquarium and a medical checkup.
“It will be in quarantine, just as would be done with a sick person,” aquarium director Jordi Ingles said Monday.
He said the shark will be returned to the open sea if biologists determine it is healthy.