A Padre Island couple says they made a big discovery at the beach on Christmas Day. They took the find home with them, but it has left them scratching their heads about what to do next.
On Tuesday, John Tegge and Victoria Hedges were walking on the beach about five miles south of Bob Hall Pier. The two were searching for sand dollars, when they came across a discovery measuring just over five feet long.
“We were ecstatic,” said Tegge. “This thing was just like, ‘Merry Christmas, here’s the big one.'”
The couple then used their truck and a rope to drag the object, weighing several hundred pounds, out of the sand.
They say it appears to be the bone of a large mammal.
“I knew it was a piece, a big large structure of bone of some sort of mammal…” said Hedges. “And I was quite excited.”
Jen McCollough, a collections manager at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History says interesting finds wash up on the beach regularly. Anything from natural animal remains like sea shells, to fossils, or even parts of ships.
She adds although beach-goers come across unique discoveries, it is illegal to take something that does not belong to you.
McCollough says it’s important to know whose land you’re on. If you make a discovery on private land, “It’s just all about that landowners consent” said McCollough. “If they say you can take it, then you can take it.”
However, McCollough warns a private land owner can be hard to track down.
However if you make a discovery on state or federal land, the owner is the state or a federal agency. Ultimately it is up to them to decide what they do with the find.
But for now, Tegge and Hedges’ find sits in front of their home.
And they hope experts can help them identify what it is.
“It was really just a neat, neat day for us,” Tegge said.