The mystery of the dead subway shark -- which showed up on a Queens-bound N-train in the middle of "Shark Week" -- captured imaginations around the world on Wednesday. Was it a ploy for the Discovery Channel? An odd prank? An animal rights violation?
Sad photos of the subway shark lit up social media, inspiring an @NYCSubwayShark Twitter account, a Taiwanese animation video, while one man managed to snap photos of the shark posing with an MTA transit card and a can of Red Bull.
Both The New York Post and Gothamist have spoken to sources who say that the shark originated on Coney Island, where a group of kids posed for photos with the creature when it washed up on shore.
Alicia Vicino, a 41-year-old mother of two, was at the beach with her kids and her neighbors when they spotted the shark.
“My kids are big on sharks and Shark Week. They watch all the documentaries,” she said. “They were freaking out. We took pictures with the shark."
She said that a group of twenty-somethings left the beach with the animal.
“We all thought it was really strange that they wanted to take it with them,” she said. “They said, ‘I want to take it!’”
Vicino's neighbor, Domenick, sent photos of their kids posing with the shark.
While they were at Coney Island the little shark washes up right by where they were. The life guard moves the shark and people ask him if they could take it, while others wanted to take pictures with it. My neighbor, who took the photo, texted me to say how "boss" my daughter was by holding the shark while the boys in the group were afraid to even get close. Our neighbor and my kids took some pictures with it and then a guy took the shark with him.