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Weird animal news: shark falls on golf course October 27, 2012

Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark

And in today’s weird news… an osprey protest?

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) – “Nobody yelled “Fore!” at a Southern California golf course when a 2-foot-long shark dropped out of the sky and flopped around on the 12th tee.”

The 2-pound leopard shark was apparently plucked from the ocean by a bird then dropped on San Juan Hills Golf Club, said Melissa McCormack, director of club operations.

“Down with golf courses! Bring back the wetlands!” the osprey was heard to think. (Okay, no, I made that part up.)

Still, can you imagine being there? Talk about a golf hazard!

This incident reminds me of the wonderful collection of weird phenomena collected by Charles Fort. His books, compiled in the early 20th century, center on exhaustively documented ‘puzzling evidence.’  These run the gamut from events of Biblical proportion like sudden plagues of locusts or rains of blood, and what would today be called UFO phenomena, to small surrealistic moments like this one.

The best part of this story is that the golf course workers managed to save the little shark’s life! One noticed it and took it to their office, where they quickly stuck it in a bucketful of water. Then they suddenly remembered, hey, this is a SALT water creature. So they mixed in some table salt (!) and transported the shark to the ocean. He initially just sat there, stunned, but then flipped his fin and swam off.

Read more from ABC.com:  Shark Falls From Sky Onto California Golf Course

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P.S.: There are many kinds of sharks. The one we usually think of, thanks to the movie Jaws, is the Great White shark (pictured grinning below). Leopard sharks (pictured above) are much smaller and sleeker in design, and their skin features cute spots.

Another big difference is that leopard sharks have not acquired a taste for human flesh. However, just to set the record straight, given the choice, Great Whites will overwhelmingly choose other fare too. Apparently, we just aren’t the choicest dish in the sea. (I don’t know about you, but knowing this brings me a combo of relief and petulant wondering why not.)

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3 Responses to “Weird animal news: shark falls on golf course”

  1. Michele Owens Says:

    First, I was completely puzzled by the title. Then I cracked up over “bring back the wetlands” ! If only “the not so human world” could talk. . . . . but wait, they do! We just need to be better listeners. Here in Missouri, we have lost hundreds of acres of wetlands to industrial parks. But Ole’ Miss aka The Mississippi River, can not be completely controlled. Accommodations had to be made for spring swells and so forth after flooding. So there are buildings surrounded by wetland fragments. We still see egrets and herons but this year, there were less than ever before.

    I’m so glad the tiger shark was rescued!
    Michele Owens

  2. timlavalli Says:

    Not to be picky but the accompanying picture is not a leopard shark and I’ll bet it (the one in the picture) must weigh as much as four or even five pounds!

    • Tina Fields Says:

      You are absolutely right. I was lazy when posting the image even though I knew better, and have just now fixed that. Thank you for your naturalist’s eye insisting on correctness.


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