COCOA BEACH, Fla. (CBS Local) – Officials in Florida are trying to figure out what happened to a baby shark that was found in a beach garbage can.

WKMG reports that the carcass of the dangerous sea creature was discovered at Shepard Park on Cocoa Beach on July 3. Staff with the local volunteer group “Keep Brevard Beautiful” found the shark mixed in with plastic bottles and other trash.

“People consider certain fish species a junk fish. It’s sad to see some people take a catfish and throw it on the shore and not try to save it and release it,” Bryan Bobbitt of Keep Brevard Beautiful told Florida Today. “It just sits there and gasps for air and dies.”

At nearby Lori Wilson Park, a dead stingray also washed ashore with its tail reportedly broken off. Officials don’t know how either of the animals died yet, but some believe the deaths may be connected to local fishing.

“I’ve seen people cut the tails off of stingrays and just leave the fish on the shore,” Bobbitt added. “I don’t know why they did it, but it was pretty cruel to see.”

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