Alarming pictures of what seems to be a colossal six-metre tiger shark have emerged after the beast was apparently caught in a surfing hotspot.
The monstrous fish, which could weigh more than 60 stone, is thought to have been hauled in off Tweed Head, near Australia’s Gold Coast.
People in the area began circulating images of the massive predator online, sparking a horrified reaction from Facebook users.
Geoff Brooks who shared the images but says he didn’t take them, posted: “Caught off 7 Mile beach over the weekend.
“Body apparently handed to CSRIO [Australia’s national science agency].
“And yes – it’s real. It seems to have been caught on a tuna line. Tiger shark?”
Australian media reported a fisherman known only as Matthew has claimed responsibility for the catch.
He told the Morning Star: “I was the one that took that photo and I was the one that caught that fish.”
He added: “I just had to confirm with a bloke that it was a tiger and not a great white and I used those photos to show him.”
The fisherman said the giant shark swallowed a six foot hammerhead just before he pulled it aboard.
“I was fighting the Hammerhead and he came up and swallowed it. You can’t turn around and go no, don’t touch, to something like that.” he said.
Matthew, who said he kept the jaws of the creature as souvenir, added other sharks in the area were even bigger than this one.
The conservation group Positive Change for Marine Life shared the images and asked for information about the catch.
Their Facebook post read: “It does look like a Tiger Shark as indicated by the shape of its teeth.
“White Sharks have triangular teeth while Tiger Sharks have curved cusps with serrated edges as seen here.”
Commenting on the pictures, Bethany Hudson said: “I’m saddened by this.
“It was probably pregnant just trying to get by like everything else in these man-created mess of a time.”
Kylie Hoyer added: “So very sad, such a beautiful creature.”