Huffington Post reports on the bizarre encounter, detailing how seven sandbar sharks were found alive and swimming within a 15 feet wide pool in the basement of a Hudson Valley home. Unfortunately, three of the sharks (two leopards and one hammerhead) were already dead by the time officials found the animals.
The bust took place on August 23rd, but news of it had not been released to the public until recently. According to the official report, a warrant was issued on the home for suspicion of harboring illegal wildlife. At this moment, no suspects have been listed in connection with the apartment and no arrests were made, with police and conservation workers still investigating who could be behind this.
The current theory states that these sharks were part of a black market exotic pet breeding program, especially since the sandbar shark are considered a vulnerable species close to becoming endangered. Fortunately for the sharks, workers were able to capture, measure, tag, and take blood samples for all seven left alive and transport them to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead to recover peacefully.
“They are young and range from one and a half feet to probably just under four feet, so they are most likely all between one and three years old,” said Darlene Puntillo, aquarium spokeswoman. The sharks were reportedly in good physical condition at the time of rescue, but were not healthy overall due to the sub-standard living conditions they were forced to stay in.
Latest reports from the aquarium, however, say that they are doing much better. According to Puntillo, the sharks are eating and swimming well, with workers training them swim to the surface for feeding to help monitor their conditions more easily.
The sharks are planned to stay at the aquarium until the case has been closed. Their fate afterwards is currently unknown.