Whale shark carcass hauled ashore in Pakistan; beast goes on view
A massive whale shark is now on view in a Pakistani seaport after fishermen hauled the 15,000-pound fish from the water on Tuesday.
The fishermen's haul was greeted with enthusiastic applause at a harbor in the city of Karachi by a crowd numbering in the hundreds, according to NDTV, which cited the Press Trust of India.
It took more than four hours to lift the fish, which fishermen said was found dead in shallow water. Reports on the length of the fish varied from 35 to 40 feet.
As authorities tried to hoist it from the water, it broke pulley wires on one crane, and a 35-ton crane had to finish the job, reported the Express Tribune.
A fisheries dealer bought the carcass, the Tribune said, and will charge visitors who want a glimpse of the beast.
Fish stories abounded among those at the harbor, according to the news site, with one elderly fisherman saying that whale sharks "had tried to swallow him twice."
That's unlikely for the simple reason that the whale shark's favorite meal is plankton. The fish -- the largest in the sea -- is a filter feeder, meaning that its huge jaws passively filter everything in its path, according to National Geographic.
The massive fish is docile, even allowing swimmers to hitch a ride. National Geographic says the whale shark is currently listed as a vulnerable species and continues to be hunted.
-- Amy Hubbard in Los Angeles
Photo: Pakistani fishermen use cranes to pull the carcass of a whale shark from the waters at a fish harbor in Karachi on Tuesday. Credit: Asif Hassan / Agence France-Press / Getty Images