Why can’t people just leave animals alone!? Recently, Leigh Cobb was boating on Singer Island, Florida when she captured a horrific scene.
In the above video, you can see three fishermen DRAGGING an endangered hammerhead shark OUT OF THE WATER. The three men were sport-fishing and when they realized they caught a hammerhead, they dragged him onto the shore for SELFIES. Several people yelled to put the endangered shark back into the water, but many continued to take selfies, seemingly unaware of the pain they were causing the animal.
Eventually, the shark was returned to the water after the hook was removed from his mouth. Onlookers say the shark seemed to swim away, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends minimizing handling and release time and to keep the shark’s gills in water. It’s likely then that the fishermen caused great stress on the shark and all for what?
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the popularity of taking selfies with wild animals has caused stress and undue harm. In one incident, idiots “surfed” on a turtle for a selfie, sending the message that animals are ours to use for selfish purposes. In San Diego, tourists terrified sea lions all for a quick snap, sparking outrage from animal lovers worldwide. There was also an incident in Costa Rica where hundreds of tourists prevented endangered sea turtles from nesting because they were taking selfies instead.
While many still think of “Jaws” when they imagine sharks, those fears are nothing more than a misconception (statistically, you are more likely to be killed by a hot dog than a shark). Sharks should instead be scared of humans. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year, with an estimated 73 million of this number falling victim to the shark fin trade. Certain shark species have witnessed a 98 percent decline in their numbers over just the past fifteen years, with over two hundred others listed as endangered by the International Shark Foundation.
Instead of taking selfies with sharks (or any wild animal), we should instead be working to conserve animal species. We recently saw some progress when Instagram implemented a new warning to help educate users on the dangers of taking selfies with wild animals. For the dos and don’ts of animal selfies, please read this and share the information within your network. It’s up to us to speak up for animals!
Image Source: PalmBeachPost/YouTube