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Headless shark is found in Stoughton woods

The Massachusetts Environmental Police and Stoughton police have launched an investigation after the carcass of a decapitated shark was found dumped in the woods, officials said.

The body of the blue shark was found just before 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 on Shuman Avenue, said Amy Mahler, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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“We got a call for a smell in the woods,” Stoughton Deputy Police Chief Rob Devine said.

After finding the headless shark, local police handed the case over to the environmental police, he said.

Blue sharks, which are allowed to be harvested, are abundant in New England waters, according to Mahler.

To be legally harvested, blue sharks must be a minimum of 54 inches long and they can only be caught one at a time, Mahler said.

Whoever dumped the carcass could be prosecuted for violations of fishery law, illegal dumping, or animal cruelty, she said.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com or on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.
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