A 16-inch-long horn shark stolen Monday night from the San Antonio Aquarium has been safely returned. The young shark was stolen over the weekend, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports. Surveillance video from the facility showed three suspects scoping the facility out for more than an hour Saturday afternoon.
Then one of them snatched a female horn shark, named Miss Helen, from its tide pool exhibit, according to the Leon Valley Police Department, and wrapped it in a blanket. Then one of the male suspects put the animal in a stroller to disguise it as a baby for a clean getaway in a SUV in the parking lot.
Later, a man allegedly posted a picture online of a horn shark that included a caption that read "selling a horn shark, perfect for the next shark week. Alive and well just took out of tank for a quick pic."
He was reportedly selling the sea creature for $300. It was unclear if the man who posted the image was linked to the incident at the aquarium. The post has since been deleted.
KENS-TV says that two people have confessed to stealing the shark.
Police say that when they recovered the shark, it was located in an elaborate mock aquarium setup by one of the alleged thieves.
Earlier, the aquarium posted about the incident on its Facebook page -- including images of the three alleged suspects in hopes that it would spur interest and information from the public.
Then Monday, the aquarium released video footage of the shark stealing operation.
Monday night, the aquarium again took to Facebook to post video of the shark's return.
One employee said that she's "overjoyed" to see Miss Helen back in her rightful home. She said the shark is less than 1 year old. The employee said "she's a little fighter ... a survivor."
"It's a very small shark that is found in the Pacific Ocean. We don't have any in the Gulf of Mexico. They are bottom dwelling. They actually do very well in captivity, so they are often found in public aquariums," Texas Parks and Wildlife Science Director Michael Fisher told KENS-TV.
"We value the lives of all of our animals and take pride in the care that we are able to give them as well as the education that we are able to give to the general public about these treasured species," the aquarium posted earlier.
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