(WARNING: the content of this article may be disturbing)
A viral video depicts objectionable images of a man shooting a hammerhead shark. Outrage over the video has launched an investigation by a state agency in Florida.
The hammerhead is clearly hooked by one of the men on the boat. Another man grabs the line, and pulls the shark to the waters surface. He then points a small gun at the shark, and fires two rounds into its torso as the shark jerks. In the water, blood immediately starts to swirl around the animal.
After firing the shots, the man appears to be pleased, and even blows on the gun as if he’s a cowboy blowing heat away from the end of a smoking gun barrel.
When the video was posted on social media and shared, animal activists, such as Russ Rector, quickly became involved.
According to Rector, “He fired shots into the gill, causing the shark to bleed out and suffocate.” He says the act was “ridiculous,” “cruel” and “inhumane.”
“If you are going to kill a shark, you shoot it in the head,” Rector told the Miami Herald.
Rector thinks the men in the video may be the same group that filmed themselves dragging a shark behind a fishing boat last month. Both videos were filmed, says Rector, so the group could “show it to their friends.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is now looking into the shooting. According to reports, fishermen are allowed to shoot sharks in federal waters, but not close to land.
“That video was forwarded to us as a result of the public outcry from the first shark dragging video,” an agency spokesman reportedly said. “The video is being investigated, and FWC can’t confirm identities.”
Along with the shooting video and the video of the shark being dragged, a video from earlier this year showed a third hammerhead shark being drowned with beer, according to the Sun Sentinel.
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