"A fish upside down ... I thought it was dead."
Reporter: "How did you feel when you discovered it was a shark?"
"Amazed. I was like, what could a shark be even doing in here."
John and other passersby took pictures of the shark with their cell phone cameras. Brett Morris was driving by and stopped when he saw the shark on the sidewalk.
"It was really amazing to see a salt water shark in some fresh water canal. Even though it was dead, it was pretty amazing."
Sharks can be kept as pets. There are a couple of varieties available at the Aquatic Pets shop in Clovis. Manager Bryan Andrade says the canal shark could have been somebody's pet.
"I think it was somebody who probably had it and got too big for its tank, so they probably just dumped it in the canal."
Andrade notes a shark that size would have required a tank of at least 8 to ten feet long. But, Andrade notes since Leopard Sharks are a California Native Species it's been illegal to keep them as pets for several years. He says there may be another explanation.
"Also, a slight possibility someone may have caught it and hooked it on the coast, brought it home and didn't know what to do with it and just dumped it too. That's another possibility." Andrade said.
How the shark got here will likely remain a mystery. The carcass has been placed stored in a freezer at the Clovis Animal Shelter. They aren't showing it off.
The guy who found it, John Herrera told us, when he pulled it from the canal it was the worst thing he'd ever smelled.