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Sshark Dumped On A Doorstep Goes Home In A Divvy Van


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Shark dumped on a doorstep goes home in a divvy van

* Matt Neal

* April 23, 2009 - 12:49PM

Dumped ... the shark left on a Warrnambool newspaper's doorstep.

Dumped ... the shark left on a Warrnambool newspaper's doorstep.

A live shark dumped on the doorstep of a Warrnambool newspaper office has survived thanks to the quick thinking of two police officers who made a mercy dash in a divvy van.

A passerby notified police at 12.20am this morning after seeing the roughly 60 centimetre-long fish - believed to be a Port Jackson shark - lying at the front door of The Warrnambool Standard's office on Raglan Parade.

Constable Jarrod Dwyer and Acting Sergeant Greg Cresell poured water on the shark to keep it alive before taking it to the breakwater.

"I nursed it on the front seat (of the divvy van) and we took it to the breakwater and put it back in the water near the boat ramp," Constable Dwyer said.

"It was literally right on the doorstep of The Standard."

He said the shark swam off when placed in the water.

Acting Sergeant Cresell said it was one of the most bizarre incidents he had come across in his time as a police officer.

"We've had some strange things in the van before but never a shark," he said.

"We wanted to save it and the longer it was out of the water the worse it was for it."

Police are investigating the incident and wish to speak with anyone with information.

Ian Westhorpe, senior fisheries officer with the Department of Primary Industries, said it was an offence to not return a fish to the water if it was not intended to be kept, and it usually resulted in an on-the-spot fine.

"These laws are there to encourage the humane handling of fish," Mr Westhorpe said.

He identified the fish as a Port Jackson shark - a common southern species that is not often taken on a hook.

Mr Westhorpe said the sharks were harmless, except for two venomous dorsal spines near the dorsal fins.

The Warrnambool man who alerted police to the presence of the shark yesterday told The Standard he couldn't believe his eyes.

"I'd just come out of McDonald's and there was another gentleman there and he told me there was a shark on the doorstep," the man said.

"I thought he must have been drunk ... but I put a spotlight on it and the shark was just sitting there perfectly still and you could see its gills going.

"I drove around to the police station, I didn't have a phone on me at the time.

"I said to the policewoman at the counter: `I'm not sure how to explain this but there's a shark on the front door of The Standard and it's still alive' and she said `what?'. It's not something you hear about every day."

The man said he drove home and told his girlfriend, who also didn't believe him.

He took her to the scene, where police were pouring water on the shark before picking it up and returning it to the breakwater.

Warrnambool Standard

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