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The basking shark on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. The basking shark on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Bathers flee for the beach after shark sighted in Puerto Vallarta

The animal was later identified as a species that does not attack humans

An unusual sight gave beach-goers a scare on Saturday in Puerto Vallarta. After an ominous triangular fin was spotted circling near the shore, bathers exited the water and a crowd gathered to watch a small shark, just over a meter long, that was wandering through the shallows.

Fear quickly turned to concern for the animal’s well being after the shark came too close to the beach and a wave left it stranded on the sand. Civil Protection agents quickly arrived at the scene to help the shark, which had an injury on its tail. They decided that it was not serious enough to necessitate additional aid.

Then, with the help of local parachute tour operator José Manuel Castillón and his boat, the animal was taken half a kilometer out to sea and released, well away from the beach and its tourists.

It was identified as a small basking shark, a species that does not attack humans.

With reports from Vallarta Daily, El Debate and Tribuna de la Bahía

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