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Whale shark causes fight between owner and police

The man who bought the 40-foot long whale shark fought with authorities over the right to charge viewers.
Whale shark karachiEnlarge
Pakistani fishermen use cranes to pull the carcass of a whale shark from the waters at a fish harbor in Karachi on February 7, 2012. The 40-feet whale, weighing about 6-7 tons, was found dead in Arabian Sea in the port city of Karachi. (Asif Hassan /AFP/Getty Images)

Remember the 40-foot whale shark that was brought to shore in Karachi?

The man who bought it for $2,200 fought with authorities for the right to charge the hundreds of onlookers who gathered about 22 cents apiece to view the giant fish, said the Associated Press.

The Express Tribune reported that nearly 3,000 people paid the demanded amount to go see the fish. A man selling tickets to the crowd reportedly earned 50,000 Pakistani rupees ($550) and said, “I am sure that by this time tomorrow we will earn triple that amount.”

More on GlobalPost: Whale shark found in Karachi (VIDEO)

“The whale shark was placed on the floor of a makeshift marquee but as there was no ice to preserve the body the miasma enveloped the entire area. The viewing disintegrated into a circus as men, women and children clambered on top of it in order to take a closer picture. Children prodded and poked it mercilessly,” said The Express Tribune.

The AP reported that Thursday, the police decided that people should be able to view the fish for free, prompting a strange game between the owner and the authorities where, “They would order him to remove the cover (on the fish), which he would do briefly before replacing it. Then the cycle would start over again.”

Police inspector Mohammad Aslam told the AP, “We are told to protect and facilitate the people to see this rare fish, but this man is not allowing this.”

Mystery surrounds the discovery of the whale shark which was reportedly found unconscious by fisherman, about 100 miles from shore. Bob Hueter, the director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, told LiveScience that sharkes don’t fall unconscious, and when they stop swimming or die, they sink.

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