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Death of California Great White Shark Sparks Criminal Probe

APTOS (AP) — California wildlife officials have started a criminal investigation into the death of a great white shark found on a Monterey Bay beach.

The carcass of a nearly 9-foot-long, 500-pound young male was found Sunday on Beer Can Beach in Aptos. Experts said the shark appeared healthy except for what might have been gashes and scars made by its prey, sea lions.

However, the California Department of Fish and Game says it’s launched a criminal probe based on results of a necropsy. Those results weren’t released.

Great whites are a protected species under both state and federal law. Intentionally killing one could result in stiff penalties.