A great white shark washed up to the shores of a California beach and a marine biologist, who was there to investigate the body of the shark didn't blink before asking his colleague to pose next to the shark's carcass.
According to the marine biologist Giancarlo Thomae, he clicked a picture of the shark, which was found dead in Aptos, California, by making his colleague lie down beside the shark's body so that her body could provide scale, as they were waiting for their other colleagues to come with more equipment.
"We got down there because the tide was running in," said Thomae. He also added that he was worried that the tide would wash out the shark's body to sea before it could be thoroughly examined.
TV station KSBW shared the said picture of the dead great white shark and the woman on Facebook and the social media users didn't seem too pleased.
"This could not be more messed up ... A dead shark is not a photo op," commented one user on the social media; while another person wrote, "This was once a living being and it's just ok to lay next to it smiling? This is appalling aaaannnnnd i'm angry. Justice needs to be had."
"This could not be more messed up..A dead shark is not a photo op..Really wow, just wow to the person who chose this pic...and to the person who thought how cool am I taking a pic of someone laying next to the dead shark..I have no words," read another comment.
However, Thomae said that the picture was not taken casually and it definitely wasn't intended to be disrespectful. "As a biologist and a nature-lover, it makes me happy that people care so much about wildlife. I'm sorry if my photo offended anyone, but we just needed scale for reference," stated the marine biologist.
According to him, the shark had a number of wounds and scars on its bodies; some of which were recent and most likely from fights with sea lions. The great white sharks feed on the sea lions. However, those scars or wounds didn't cause its death, opined Thomae. "This was a big, healthy shark. Those were like cat scratches," he said.
The biologist thinks that the sea creature died of a carnobacterium infection in its brain. However, it can only be confirmed after the necropsy, or the autopsy conducted on animals.