Basking shark beached next door.

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Thursday May 14th, 2009

SAINT JOHN – A steady stream of people made the trying trek over the rocks near Seaside Park Wednesday to take a close look at a 7.3-metre basking shark that washed up on the beach.

What killed the four-ton shark might remain as much a mystery as the creature itself.

The four-ton shark was found Tuesday,

Steve Turnbull, a shark researcher at UNBSJ, said little is known about the basking shark, which is a vulnerable species. Because 25 per cent of its weight is liver, the prehistoric beast was almost hunted to extinction for its oil.

“He’s an early arriver,” Turnbull said. “Usually they come in with the food source,” in the summer.

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