Blue shark sparks panic on Spanish island resort

Wildlife experts have been forced to put down the animal after it received a suspected harpoon injury

Blue shark sparks panic on Spanish island resort

Image: Tim Prottey-Jones / Twitter

Wildlife experts have been forced to put down a blue shark after it sparked panic on a beach on the Spanish island of Majorca.

The shark - approximately eight feet long - sent swimmers racing for shore after it appeared in shallow waters on Cala Major beach, between Magaluf and Palma.

Videos released online showed the shark thrashing in the sand as it struggled to return to open water.

The shark glided through the shallow waters just a few metres from swimmers, who dashed to the safety of the shore.

Video: Sky News

Lifeguards raised red flags to clear holidaymakers out of the sea, before the Guardia Civil conducted a search of the area.

The beach was briefly closed following the encounter; however it reopened a few hours later.

The shark managed to swim back out, but was later spotted in shallow water on a beach along the coast in Can Pastilla.

Crowds watched as it was pulled from the water by lifeguards, before being put down by wildlife experts from nearby Palma Aquarium.

It was said to have approached the packed beaches after sustaining a serious head injury caused by a harpoon.

An aquarium worker said a hook was found inside its mouth "which caused it irreversible damage."

The sightings came a day after a shark was seen swimming past children on lilos at Illetas beach.

A spokesman for Calvia Council, which covers Illetas, said the shark appeared to be the same one spotted in Cala Major and Can Pastilla.

Additional reporting from IRN ...