It's a most bizarre trend, but people can't seem to stop posing for selfies with sea creatures.
Following the heartbreaking tale of a poor dolphin that was dragged out of the water on a beach in Argentina and posed with for selfies until it ultimately died comes an American take on an aquatic photoshoot. Only this time, it wasn’t a threatened species.
According to a Tech Times report, a Florida man made headlines after he grabbed and wrestled a shark out of the surf to take a few pictures before safely returning it to sea.
A reporter with NBC affiliate station WPTV, Ashliegh Walters, was there at Palm Beach, FL when she filmed the entire incident. The man approached the shark, which was swimming in shallow water near the beach. He grabbed its tail and slowly began dragging it back toward the sand. The shark struggled to escape, but it was successfully pulled out of the water and onto dry land.
The man yanked the shark onto the sand and stepped on its head to stop it from wiggling just long enough for a brief photoshoot. He stood there proudly as beachgoers came up to photograph the shark. It wasn’t until another man came along that the shark finally began its journey back into the water.
The second man tried to place the shark back into the ocean, but it became stuck in shallow waters and washed back up on to the beach. Luckily there were a few good Samaritans on the beach that day, and they helped drag the shark out into deeper waters. It was not seen washing up on the beach again after that.
Florida is currently the staging area for a massive blacktip shark migration, with numbers estimated to be in the tens of thousands. While the shark was returned to the school unharmed, the video still caused a fair amount of criticism when it was posted on social media. Some argued that taking the shark out of the water constituted animal cruelty, while others defended the man, saying he had done little more than a modified version of fishing.
Whatever your opinion, many people agree that it’s a smarter idea to leave sharks and other sea creatures in their natural environment – beneath the surface of the water. The World Animal Protection group from Australia publicly denounced the event in Argentina last week, where beachgoers killed a La Plata dolphin after pulling it from the water to pose for selfies.
“This terribly unfortunate event is an example of the casual cruelty people can inflict when they use animals for entertainment purposes, without thinking of the animal’s needs,” the WAP said in a statement.