OCEAN CITY — While the details remain unclear, it appears a beached hammerhead shark birthed two or three pups on the beach in north Ocean City early Monday morning before dying and eventually washing ashore in neighboring Fenwick Island.
It is unclear if the large hammerhead was caught by surf anglers or washed ashore deceased, but what is known is the shark birthed two or three healthy pups that were returned safely to the ocean. Witnesses report the pups were fine and swam off in the ocean.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) and the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) on Monday confirmed the hammerhead did have pups on the beach in north Ocean City early this morning. National Aquarium officials also reported they were contacted by the NRP early on Monday to consult with officials on the beach on how to handle the beached shark, but did not respond in a rescue capacity after learning the hammerhead was already deceased.
NRP Public Information Officer Candy Thompson outlined the sequence of events as her agency knows it according to its dispatch center log. At 1:22 a.m., a report of a hammerhead shark giving birth along the shoreline came in and was reportedly observed by a witness and police officers. National Aquarium staff advised at 1:42 a.m. the shark should be left near the shoreline. At 2:09 a.m. it was determined the shark was dead.