The meter-long shark was discovered by early-morning beach visitors who notified park ranger John Gunnik. Sean Van Sommeran of the Santa Cruz-based Pelagic Shark Research Foundation then worked with Gunnik to pack the shark in ice packs and ship it to a Fish and Game laboratory in Southern California.
Van Sommeran said that modern technologies, such as cellphones, have made reporting shark strandings easier, and calls about salmon sharks are one of the most common he receives.
"We always want to make sure there isn't a pollution event that is causing the deaths," he said.
William Cox of the Fish and Game Department confirmed Thursday that preliminary lab tests showed the shark was infected with bacterial encephalitis, a common cause of death for young salmon sharks.
According to researchers, every year about a dozen salmon sharks are found on California shores and more often than not, they are found to have the same infection, which can lead to disorientation. Read More