Great white shark weighing 1,500 pounds washes onto Florida beach, photos show

A shark estimated between 13 and 15 feet in length washed up on a popular beach in the Florida Panhandle, prompting speculation over what might have killed it.

The discovery was reported around 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, by Navarre Beach Fire Rescue, which identified the predator as a great white. Navarre Beach is about 25 miles east of Pensacola.

Photos and video shared on social media show the apex predator rolled out of the surf in a residential area, and it quickly drew a crowd.

Santa Rosa County workers tied the shark to an excavator and dragged it away, video shows.

“The shark is now in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s possession, who will be taking the shark to their lab in Panama City,” county officials told McClatchy News in an email.

The shark was estimated at 1,500 pounds and closer inspection by marine life experts indicated it might be pregnant, WEAR reports.

The carcass did not exhibit signs of trauma, but “crews found some hooks in the shark’s mouth,” fire officials told the Pensacola News Journal.

NOAA Fisheries Southeast has scheduled a necropsy (animal autopsy) to determine a cause of death, officials told McClatchy News. The agency also intends to confirm the size and weight of the shark.

Great white sharks are known to travel down the East Coast and into the Gulf of Mexico during the winter, experts say. It’s believed the migration has to do with a pursuit of prey and warmer waters, according to the shark research agency OCEARCH.

However, it’s believed mating off North Carolina’s Outer Banks may also be part of the reason the sharks head south each year.

White sharks can reach 21 feet and 4,500 pounds, according to NOAA Fisheries.

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