‘It’s kind of a novelty’: Family on vacation finds two sharks in two years

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Sue Bowser kept a 13-inch dogfish shark in her freezer for two years after a bird dropped it in her backyard flying from the ocean to First Landing State Park.

Even the mailman wanted to get a glimpse of the baby shark.

“A lot of people really wanted to see it,” said Bowser.

Earlier this month, she tossed the shark in the trash and replaced it with an 18-inch scalloped hammerhead that her family found near 70th and Atlantic Avenue.

“It was such a rarity,” said Bowser. “Everywhere I went people said, ‘Sue, we heard about your shark. We heard about your shark.'”

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Bowser’s nephew, David Lee, found the hammerhead while running in the North End on his visit to Virginia Beach from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He didn’t think twice about bringing it back to the house.

“I’ve been coming to Virginia Beach for 40-plus years,” he said. “I’ve never seen a shark in the ocean, and within a span of two years, two of them on land. What are the odds of that?”

Lee’s seven-year-old son, Alex, spotted the first shark in Bowser’s backyard in 2015. That find also happened during the family’s annual vacation.

“You expect to see squirrels and deer and rabbits and things like that on land. You don’t expect to see sharks on land,” said Lee. “It’s kind of a novelty.”

Bowser kept the first shark in the freezer next to the homemade applesauce. She says she’ll keep the hammerhead for a little while, but she doesn’t plan on keeping it as long.

“This one is really smelly,” she said.

It might not last long, but it likely won’t be the last.

“It’s become this thing now,” said Lee. “We’ll come back and maybe we’ll find a great white somewhere.”

See Joe Fisher’s full report on this story on WAVY News at 11 p.m.