What would you do if you were walking down the beach and saw an animal in distress? Help it, call a professional, get a lifeguard? Nahhh, just attack it, and hold it down to take selfies! Duh! Well … that’s exactly what this individual on our hall of shame list did when he forcefully grabbed a shark by its tail and dragged it out of the water for a photo.
We honestly can’t even believe this happened, especially just days after beachgoers in Argentina killed a baby dolphin by doing the same thing. The man, who was filmed in Florida, was cheered on by a crowd of sunbathers, all holding up their phones to grab a shot of his “triumph.”
The video, reportedly taken in Palm Beach, where sharks migrate during the winter, shows the man dragging the shark out of the water, onto the sand. The man held the shark down on the beach so that he could get a selfie of his “prize.” One photo wasn’t enough. Grabbing the shark’s tail and pushing its head into the sand, the man decided he needed several poses. After he got his thrill, he and a friend made a weak attempt to drag the shark back into the water. Sadly, the waves just pushed the shark back onto the shore. Eventually, the selfie-obsessed beachgoers brought the shark back out to sea. It was reported that the shark did not emerge again for several minutes.
A video posted on Facebook by a local news reporter shows the entire ordeal.
While this might appear to be “all fun and games,” in reality, sharks are highly threatened in the world’s oceans. Every year, over 100 million sharks are ripped from the waters either as bycatch from the commercial fishing industry or for the shark fin trade. Sharks are an apex predator and play a vital role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems. Without sharks, fish stocks and entire food chains can collapse, starting a domino effect that leads all the way back to humans. We need to learn that all animals, including sharks, are not here for our own entertainment – they play a crucial role in making the world a liveable place, for all species, including us.
There is no excuse for this ridiculous action, but you can help ensure that stupidity like this does not happen by sharing this post and encouraging others to spread the word that animals are NOT selfie props. If you ever come across a stranded animal in need, do the smart thing and contact a professional rescuer, click here for a few hotlines that can help.