A frame from surveillance footage shows the three suspected shark thieves. (Sea Antonio Aquarium)
A 45-centimetre shark has been smuggled out of an aquarium in the US in a baby stroller.
According to KSAT 12, an affiliate of US network ABC, police first thought the theft of the horn shark — from the same family as Australia’s Port Jackson shark — from San Antonio Aquarium was a joke.
Leon Valley police Chief Joseph Salvaggio said two men and a woman stole the shark from an open pool where visitors were allowed to reach in and touch the animals in the tank.
He said one of the men grabbed the shark while the others wrapped it in a wet blanket, went into a back room, put the shark in a bucket containing bleach solution and put it in the stroller.
“When we first got the call, we thought it was kind of a hoax being that it was Shark Week last week,” Chief Salvaggio said to KSAT 12, referring to the annual week of shark-based programming on US network the Discovery Channel.
San Antonio Aquarium general manager Jenny Spellman said an employee noticed what was going on and immediately notified management.
She said the bleach solution might have shocked the shark’s system.
Police have recovered the shark and returned it to the aquarium.
Chief Salvaggio said one man had been charged over the heist and two other people were expected to be charged.
A horn shark is from the same family as Australia’s Port Jackson shark (pictured). (Bluebottle Films)