A shark selfie taken by a Florida man has spurred outrage on social media, as the photographer was filmed dragging the defenseless animal out of the water, simply in order to get the perfect shot.
The clip appeared on Facebook, on Saturday, February 20, being uploaded by WPTV news anchor and reporter Ashleigh Walters.
In the video, which was recorded at Palm Beach, in Florida, a shirtless man wearing a ponytail can be seen pulling a juvenile shark out of the water. The aquatic animal is hauled by its tail, and brought closer and closer to the shore, as it desperately writhes, struggling to escape.
Meanwhile, a bunch of onlookers passively watch the incident as it’s unfolding, taking photographs and eagerly waiting to see what will happen next.
Eventually, the Florida man manages to subdue the wriggling creature, which finally stops showing any kind of resistance.
The video’s protagonist then proceeds to keep his prey captive with both hands, and proudly poses for its shark selfie, bulging his muscles and showing off the animal he has vanquished. Meanwhile, the other beachgoers cheer for the man and take his photograph, as if he were a celebrity or a local hero.
At the end of the video, the juvenile shark can be seen being pushed back into the water by another male participant, but instead of swimming far away from the shore, the tormented creature appears to be motionless, washing up on the beach repeatedly.
It’s unclear if the shark ever regained strength, and returned to the sea, given that the clip stops rather abruptly, while people still struggle to release the animal into the wilderness.
If the shark selfie actually proved to be fatal to the harassed fish, it wouldn’t come as a surprise especially nowadays, on the heels of another similar incident, which occurred on Thursday, February 18, on Santa Teresita beach, close to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the time, a young La Plata dolphin was captured by swimmers and brought on the shore, where it attracted a huge crowd of people wishing to pet it or take its photo.
Eventually, the captive mammal died on the beach, due to dehydration, after being kept away from the sea for such a long time.
Shockingly, even as the creature lay lifeless in their midst, people never stopped clicking away, showing no sign of remorse or sadness after being accomplices to its early demise.
The incident naturally became heavily publicized, given the fact that it shows how ruthlessly and irrationally people can behave while trying to take the perfect selfie, capable of generating as many likes as possible.
Contributing to the fury provoked by the Argentinians’ senseless crime was the fact that La Plata dolphins, also referred to as Franciscana dolphins, are actually considered “vulnerable’ on the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Now it appears that the outrageous event wasn’t an isolated occurrence, but just one of the many alarming manifestations triggered by the irrepressible quest for likes, shares and comments.
As more and more people turn to social media in order to obtain approval and recognition for nearly every single thing they do, they seem to renounce common sense, caution and any consideration they may have had for the ones around them.
Image Source: Albany Daily Star