Before long, China’s version of Twitter was filled with pictures and posts about the illicit haul.
The captain of the boat that pulled in the two-ton shark appeared to be unaware that it was illegal to catch, buy, or sell one.
He did tell media outlets that the whale shark was already dead by the time he and the crew decided to take it to shore.
It wound up in the net because it was trying to feed off of the smaller fish in it. Once inside, it got trapped and perished before it could be saved.
While whale sharks can live to be 100 years old, it’s believed that this one was in its earlier years as it measured under 15-feet long.
Fully matured members of the species can be as big as a city bus.