Just a week after Argentinian beachgoers caused outrage by killing a rare dolphin after taking a selfie with it, a man in Florida has been filmed abusing a shark.
The defenseless shark was washed ashore on a beach in Florida, and the man can be seen dragging it further up the sand. He then pinned it to the ground to take a selfie.
Thanks to television news reporter Ashleigh Walters, we have photographic evidence of another astounding case of animal cruelty. Walters works for local NBC affiliate WPTV, and happened to be on the beach at the time.
Walters even videoed the incident, and her recording shows the man approach the shark before grabbing it by the tail and dragging it up the sand. The shark can be seen wriggling in order to escape his clutches, but he pins it to the ground in order to take a selfie.
A few minutes later another man comes and takes the shark back to the water. However the shark struggles to swim away. Walters reports that after the video ended, more people came to take the shark further out to sea.
Spate of animal selfies point to modern obsession
A similar incident in Argentina drew heavy criticism from animal rights groups outraged at the abuse. This latest video has also been criticized on social media.
The rare Franciscana dolphin which was pulled from the water in Argentina later died after being kept out of the water for too long. The shark in Florida apparently swam away, but it is impossible to know how its health would have been impacted.
The World Animal Protection, an animal rights group in Australia, spoke out about the Argentina incident.
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“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,” a spokeswoman for World Animal Protection said.
According to experts the spate of animal selfies can be attributed to the fact that people don’t want to be outdone by their friends on social media. In the race to take the most extreme selfie, people are apparently all too willing to put the lives of animals at risk.