In a gross display of inhuman behavior, three men dragged an endangered hammerhead shark out of the water for the sheer enjoyment of clicking photos of and with it. The incident was captured by Leigh Cobb when she was boating on Florida's Singer Island.
In a disturbing video that went viral, three fishermen are seen pulling the hammerhead shark on to the beach after they caught it while sport-fishing. People gathered around them and shouted them to let the shark go back to the sea. But the men refused to take heed. They kept on clicking pictures, turning a blind eye to the pain they were inflicting on the rare marine creature, reported One Green Planet.
After clicking photographs at their will, the fishermen removed the hook from the shark's mouth after a while and the hammerhead was put back into the water. But environmentalists say that even a few moments out of water could be extremely harmful and traumatizing for a shark.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states that sharks should be manually handled for as little time as possible. If they are caught in nets, they should be released immediately and their gills should never be exposed to air. There have been several instances of sharks, even the Great Whites, have weakened and died after being caught in fishing nets.
The hammerhead shark has been classified as 'endangered' in the IUCN Red List, which also states that it is one of the four most threatened species identified by member states of the Sub Regional Fishing Commission. It surely deserves to be safe in the water, not in an excited human being's photo gallery.
Previously, too, people have displayed insensitive behavior towards rare creatures, such as sea lions, sharks, and endangered sea turtles. Sharks seem to be of special interest, as indicated by another incident at a beach in Queensland, Australia, where a couple of men catch a shark while fishing and drag the struggling creature onto the beach.
Even though the shark seemed desperate to return to the water, the men kept pulling it away for sport, in the clear view of a group of spectators who had gathered to see the shark. They eventually let the shark go back to water and swim away, after which they high-five each other for the achievement.
Photography enthusiasts can now click photos with a shark without having to drag it out of the water. American artist Jimmy Swift has painted a great white shark on a rock on a beach in Goa, India. People can now pose with the spray-painted stone shark at Palolem Beach, which looks shockingly life-like. The shark rock has gained a lot of popularity in a short time and has become a must-visit site for tourists. Perhaps, it will lead to a little less cruelty by human beings on these endangered animals.
Movies like Jaws and The Shallows make us believe in the ferocity of sharks, but their real life is a little different. According to statistics, human beings kill about 100 million sharks every year, whereas sharks kill one human every two years. In fact, if you are a US resident, you have a one in 63 chance of dying from flu, compared to one in 3,700,000 chance of dying from a shark attack.