SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – Any Bay Area residents heading to Santa Cruz to beat the heat this weekend should stay on the lookout for sharks.
A 10-foot-shark was spotted about 30 feet offshore Thursday near the Seascape resort in Aptos.
Signs were posted up and down Beer Can Beach by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department warning swimmers, surfers and other beach goers to be careful in the water.
But some visitors said don’t plan on taking any chances.
“Well I’m not going in the water. No way! Are you kidding me? That’s insane,” said beach goer Ally Foster on Friday.
The sighting came days after a dead great white shark washed up on the shore at Beer Can Beach last weekend.
On Wednesday, Wildlife agents announced there was an investigation into the death of the great white that washed onto the beach after noting mutilation to its body.
Fish and Wildlife officials said they handed over the case to its law enforcement division based on the results of the necropsy which was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, the officials would not comment on what specifically they found that resulted in them handing over the case to law enforcement.
The body of the male shark that weighed over 500 pounds drew a crowd of onlookers to Aptos’ Beer Can Beach on Sunday. The shark’s body had visible puncture wounds. It’s massive teeth still had sea lion fur wedged in them.
White sharks are native to the area where they feed on sea lions.
One marine biologist in Santa Cruz talked to KPIX 5 about what saw when he got a first-hand look at the shark.
Giancarlo Thomae, a local fishing boat captain and marine biologist, was there when the great white washed up on shore in Aptos.
He snapped photos and then helped transport the shark to the Fish and Wildlife facility for the necropsy.
White sharks play an extremely critical role in balancing the ocean’s ecosystems.
“If this is a criminal investigation, it would just make it even more heartbreaking and sad,” said Thomae.
The shark was a young adult male measuring nine feet three inches long and weighing about 500 pounds. It appeared healthy and well fed and still had sea lion fur stuck in its teeth.
The injuries the shark suffered were not unusual or suspicious, so the death remains a mystery.
“The fresh injuries that we observed on this shark were very consistent with adult sharks that do feed on marine mammals,” said Thomae.