Humans are horrible.
Florida wildlife authorities are investigating a horrific video shared on social media showing a shark being dragged behind a high-speed boat, much to the amusement of three men.
The video starts with a brief shot of the shark, which is tied to the boat by a towline, being helplessly dragged in the choppy waters in the wake of boat. The loud engine largely muffled the noise in the video but the three men, who were making sport of the poor animal, can be seen pointing and laughing.
As the shark thrashed in the waters, one of the men said, “Look, it’s already almost dead.” The other men snorted with laughter at this declaration.
Charter fisherman Mark Quartiano said the video was sent to him by two of the people who created the footage. Quartiano, who has legally changed his name to “Mark the Shark,” has himself hunted thousands of sharks in his 40-year career. He said he received a direct message with the video on his Instagram account and believes the man thought he would approve of their inhumane act and they would get a few likes if he shared the video on his page.
However, the veteran fisherman was appalled by the act.
“For once I may have to agree with Peta. #Whodoesthisshit #sowrong #notcool,” said Quartiano.
“I've been doing this for 40 years and never even seen anything close to that kind of disrespect to an animal,” Quartiano told a local news channel. “I just couldn’t believe it. I go: ‘Look at this, someone sending me maybe an illegal video of a shark being tortured.’”
Quartiano said he messaged them back telling them the video was wrong. Instead of being chastised, the unrepentant men sent a picture of the shark’s head and its remains after its meat had been carved from its pectoral fins to its tail.
“They thought it was funny, they thought it was cool,” the fisherman added. “Even if the shark was dead, you don't do that. It's totally disrespectful.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that it has identified the individuals in the video but would not release their names until the investigation is ongoing.
“It is too early to speculate as to what, if any, violations took place in this incident," the FWC said in a statement. "However, the FWC would like to state that that the lack of respect shown in this video for our precious natural resources is disheartening and disturbing, and is not representative of conservation-minded anglers around the world.”
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, File