News has come in about a large basking shark that’s appeared on a Long Island beach in New York, just a few miles from Jones Beach. There doesn’t appear to be any reason for why the shark is beached, and an observer from the Cornell Cooperative Extension thinks that it might be dying from some illness. You know, ’cause the fact that it’s entirely out of its natural environment — which it needs in order to breathe — probably has nothing to do with how it’s feeling.
The shark has no propeller wounds on its body, nor any other puncture marks, which would seem to rule out an attack or mechanical mishap. That area of New York does tend to see a regular flow of basking sharks, which eat only plankton and are not at all dangerous to humans.
It might be possible that the shark beached itself accidentally, while trying to avoid an excessive activity of motorboats on the water, as it’s known how loud such noises can be to aquatic life. One hopes that rescue operations are under way to return the shark to the water before it suffocates, or at the very least, a detailed strategy on how best to preserve the shark’s flesh for later dining at the nearest seafood restaurant in the event that it dies on the beach.