This is the heartbreaking end of one of the world’s most endangered gentle giants as the body of huge basking shark washes up on a Spanish beach.
The 24ft long creature was found by swimmers on Doninos beach, in the city of Ferrol, Spain, on 15th August.
Grim video footage released by Civil Protection officials shows the young male in the surf and for a moment it looks almost is it is still alive and struggling to get free.
But the trick of the tide evapourates when a tractor is seen struggling the pull its body – estimated to weigh 4.5 tonnes – up the beach.
The shark is so heavy it almost pulls the tractor over.
Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus)- are listed as endangered on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.
Unlike other shark cousins, they do not hunt prey but simply filter zooplankton and invertebrates through their massive mouth and gills.
An autopsy by Coordination for the Study of Marine Mammals – or CEMMA – experts in trying to discover how the whale died.
Ferrol Council said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “In the early hours of this morning, the dismemberment of the body of the basking shark, which washed up on the Doninos beach yesterday, began.
“According to CEMMA, after analysing the species in situ, it confirmed that it is a young 7.38-metre male.”
“Throughout the morning, samples were taken, as well as, despite the shark, tasks in which members of the Civil Protection of Ferrol collaborated with the biologists of CEMMA were performed.
“Thanks to the taking of the samples, it will be possible to know the reason for the death of this basking shark.
“Once these works have been completed, the remains will be transferred to the GESUGA [Galician technology for the treatment of meat by-products not intended for human consumption for incineration.”