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2 leopard sharks found in Norwalk trash can

August 4, 2009 |  9:38 am

Dead leopard sharks found in trash can

Animal control officers are trying to figure out how two adult leopard sharks ended up in a trash can outside a Norwalk home.

A woman said she smelled a foul odor coming from a garbage can outside her house Monday and when she peeked inside found the two dead 4-foot sharks staring up at her, said Aaron Reyes, director of operations in the area for the L.A. County animal control authority.

"Stuffed in there, just sort of curled in and, you know, thrown on top of each other," Reyes said.

Leopard sharks -- characterized by their grayish patches -- larger than 36 inches require a permit by the California Department of Fish and Game for ownership.

The shark carcasses were in refrigeration at the animal shelter in Downey awaiting examination to try to discover the cause of death and any clues about where they might have come from.

Of particular concern is a 3-inch cut on the belly of one of the sharks. Reyes said the cut is too clean to have been caused by an animal attack or debris.

"That’s concerning us a bit, we don’t know why a person would do that," he said, adding that he has heard of people smuggling items inside of sharks. "Really, none of it makes any sense."

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo: KTLA