Shark found on Vlieland dies

. ()

The rare shark found beached two weeks ago in Vlieland has died, the Dofinarium in Hardewijk reported on Sunday. 

The female shark did not want to eat by herself, so the Dolfinarium had to force feed her. The park still had high hopes for her recovery. The starry smooth-hound shark had a head injury, which wasn't healing properly.

The animal's carers feared that the injury also contributed to the shark's eventual death. It is likely that a seagull was behind the injury, possibly beginning to nip at the shark's head as it was lying on the beach.

"The skull of these types of shark are made of cartilage, which a seagull can easily jab through to get to the brains. We have treated the head wound with antibiotics and honey ointment but sadly it didn't help", carer Erjan Veldman from the Dolfinarium said.

The dead shark is being studied by the University of Utrecht.

A shark washing up on a beach is unique for the Netherlands. The smooth-hound shark (Mustelus asterias) is a rare breed that has never washed up on Dutch shores before. According to the Dolfinarium, the animal only appears in the North Sea in the summer, and if the sea water is at the right temperature for it.

Tags: