Tourist finds rare shark with enormous eyes in New Zealand

Thresher shark was discovered on Ruakaka Beach

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A holidaymaker in New Zealand was shocked to find a rare, deep sea thresher shark.

Martin Stehlik, from the Czech Republic, was visiting his uncle George Plesky when the pair stumbled upon the strange bigeye thresher shark on Ruakaka Beach.

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Plesky, who lives in Whangarei, said they were surprised to see the shark on the beach, around half a kilometre from the Ruakaka lifeguard station.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, he said: "It was just so strange and we'd never seen anything like it before, with its long tail and it's big, black eyes. It was very unusual. Martin thought it might be a shark that isn't seen here often. He's going to go away with some very good memories of his time here."

The Northern Advocate sent a photo of the shark to the Department of Conservation and shark expert Clinton Duffy confirmed it was a bigeye thresher shark.

Mr Duffy said: "They're quite common but rarely seen due to their offshore habits. They feed on small schooling fishes and squid. Very little is known of the species' biology in New Zealand. New Zealand game fishers hold most, if not all of the world records for this species."

The bigeye thresher shark is found in tropical waters and had large eyes for hunting in low-light conditions.

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