Philippine fishermen find human remains in shark
Head and leg in stomach of tiger shark may be remains of capsized ferry victim, locals say

Fishermen in the Philippines have found half-digested human remains in the stomach of a tiger shark, local media reported Tuesday.

The fishermen found the remnants of a head and leg while fishing in the Bohol Sea between Bohol island and northern Mindanao, according to Minda News.

Bodoy Gorgod, 48, one of the five men who caught the shark, said they threw the shark's carcass back in the sea, keeping only the head and the fins.

He told the news website: "It was so disgusting. We couldn’t bear the awful smell.”

Speaking in the crew’s home port of Surigao City, he added: "We feared that the human remains may bring bad luck to us, so we opted to drop to the sea the shark’s body and what’s inside its belly.”

Gorgod estimated the fish weighed up to 300 kilogrammes but after examining the jaws, Jake Miranda, an expert diver, said the animal may have weighed up to double that and measured more than 4 meters.

Tiger sharks, named for the stripes on juvenile’s bodies, can typically weigh up to 635kg and grow up to 4.25m.

The day after the catch, last Wednesday evening, the fishermen dried the shark’s jaws but the wife of one of the crew later insisted they be thrown away as well.

"I don’t want the sight of that jaw, knowing that the shark had eaten a human being,” Perly Santillana was quoted as saying in the Minda News. "Who knows, the victim’s spirit might visit us.”

Locals speculated the remains could be from one of the missing passengers from the Maharlika II ferry, which capsized off Leyte on Sept. 13 during Typhoon Glenda. Two passengers remain unaccounted for.

The tiger shark has a wide-ranging diet and is known as ‘the waste basket of the sea’ for its indiscriminate eating habits that can include man-made refuse. It is second to the great white shark for recorded attacks on humans.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the tiger shark as a near-endangered species. They are fished for their fins, skin, flesh and liver.

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Last Modified: 2014-11-11 10:12:57
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