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Fishermen reel in shark the size of a school bus

Fishermen in the Pakistani port of Karachi got more than they bargained for Tuesday as they reeled in one of the biggest fish in the sea: a whale shark.

The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, reported that the 40-foot fish was first spotted ten days ago in seas about 150 km (93 miles) from the city. Mehmood Khan, the owner of a local fishery, said the shark was unconscious at that time and other reports said that it was found dead Tuesday. 

A large crowd gathered as a succession of cranes were brought in to lift the shark on to the pier. After several hours and a number of failed attempts, the leviathan was finally brought ashore and promptly sold for 1.7m Rupees ($18,750).

The whale shark was added to the World Conservation Union's list of threatened species in 2008.

Rehan Khan / EPA

Fishermen tie ropes around the carcass of a whale shark in a harbor in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 7, 2012. The 40-foot whale shark was said to have been found dead in the Arabian Sea.

Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images

Cranes pull the carcass of the whale shark from the water on Feb. 7, 2012.

Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images

Curious onlookers crowd around the carcass after it was lifted out of the water on Feb. 7, 2012.

Find out what happened to the shark next in this update: Pakistani man fights police over 40-foot shark.