The footage above was recorded at Lady Bird Lake, Texas. Warning: It's graphic and may be difficult for some viewers to watch.
The harrowing video was captured by a man named Geoffrey Frank while he was out for a jog.
“I noticed a small crowd of people were gathering up by the little fishing area,” he said. The small crowd was watching a couple of guys fishing. “I started recording on my phone and I was like must be a big fish. So when I zoom, I notice it's a turtle, so they're struggling and he takes the hammer out and he starts kind of banging at the turtle, I guess to get it on shore.”
However, “As soon as the turtle is on shore, that's when I started recording again, and that's when you can see on the video he's smashing the turtle's shell and he's smashing his head,” Frank described.
“One guy next to me was yelling, ‘OK he's dead now, you can stop, he's dead now.’ He just kept going at it, until somebody yelled, that's when he looked at us, grabbed the turtle by the tail and just dragged it under the tunnel.”
Frank felt he needed to do something about it and reported the incident to 311.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is investigating the incident and has asked anyone who knows the man in the video to call the Wildlife Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip hotline at 800-792-GAME.
Unfortunate as it is and impossible as it may seem, animal cruelty is not rare. Incidents like dragging a blue shark to the shores of a beach and terrorizing a turtle for the sake of selfies are far too frequent.
In 2015 FBI announced actions to step up ways to deal with this issue. Animal cruelty usually came under an “others” category, thrown in with smaller, less serious crimes. But the intelligence and security service will now treat inhumane behavior toward animals like bigger crimes similar to rape and murder, and maintain a national database for it.
“This is the biggest change out of the FBI. This is a giant leap forward and people in law enforcement are hitting the ground running,” said Montgomery County, Ohio, Animal Resource Center officer Mark Kumpf.