Shark Drops Onto San Juan Capistrano Golf Course

An unusual sight was found at the 12th tee box at a golf course near the Southern California coast

By Melissa Pamer
|  Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:18 PM PDT
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Animals in the News

Melissa McCormack

This 2-foot surprise was found at the 12th tee box at San Juan Hills Golf Club in San Juan Capistrano on Monday, Oct. 22.

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Imagine this: You're having a pleasant afternoon with your buddies, playing the links at San Juan Hills Golf Club.

You arrive at the 12th tee box at the San Juan Capistrano course and there you see it: A shark, very much alive and thrashing around on the grass.  

OK, so it was only a 2-foot-long shark, but still.

San Juan Capistrano is about half-way between Long Beach and San Diego.

"Shark falling from the sky, kind of odd," said Melissa McCormack, director of club operations at San Juan Hills.

The fish was actually found about 4 p.m. Monday by a golf course employee, who picked it up, put it into the back of his golf cart and drove it to the clubhouse, she said. A group of golfers had just left the tee before the shark was spotted.

The shark had two puncture wounds, which made McCormack think a predatory bird had scooped the fish up out of the water, dropping the shark down onto the course. She first relayed the story to the Capistrano Dispatch.

"It was just wriggling around. He needed to get to the ocean right away," McCormack said, adding that it appeared to be a leopard shark.

After a quick dip in fresh water – since McCormack and the employee weren't sure if the small shark could survive if placed in a tank of fresh water – the animal was quickly driven out to the nearby ocean.

Still alive, the shark was dropped back into the sea near Dana Point, where it undoubtedly went on to finish its round with an eagle or two. Or maybe just a birdie.

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