A super-rare shark never before seen on British shores has been found washed up on a UK beach.
The 6tft-long smalltooth sand tiger shark was found by mum-of-two Alisha Openshaw who thought she had rescued it to safety by dragging it to deeper waters after finding it in a shallow pool at Lepe Beach in Hampshire's New Forest.
However, the poor shark was actually found dead on Friday (March 17) just a few hours later on a different part of the shore.
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Once checked by experts, it emerged that it was a smalltooth sand tiger shark, which has never previously been seen in the United Kingdom.
The deepwater shark is known to be non-aggressive towards humans but normally frequents warmer waters than the chilly coast of the UK.
The strictly-protected species can grow to 12ft in length and can weigh up to 289 kg.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are probably fewer than 250 adult sand tiger sharks left in the world.
Efforts are now under way to recover the shark from Lepe Beach in Hampshire's New Forest for further examinations and an autopsy.
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Ms Openshaw said: "I was heading to the beach for a walk, my mum was already there, so I got took the kids for a nice walk.
“There were a couple of people down there, and they saw the shark splashing around the water, and I got worried that nobody was going to help him.
“At first I wasn't sure what it could be, but once I got there I could definitely see it was a shark – it must have been there for a good two hours, and I just can't believe nobody tried to help him.
“I don't want any animal to suffer, I can't even kill a fly myself, and I know I just wanted to save him.”
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Despite her best efforts, the shark washed ashore the next day, but locals took to social media to air their theories.
Vix Hales said: "I wonder why he was so off course? Perhaps come up with warmer currents. Poor thing."
Graham Maggs commented: "It seems strange as we don't seem to get the bigger sharks in the Solent, smoothhounds and maybe tope but the porbeagles, threshers and mako seem to stay out the back of the island."
Others congratulated the mum for her efforts, saying 'so sad, thank you for trying to save it' while one person joked 'don't think will be swimming at Lepe any more'.
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