In another example of animal cruelty, a man was filmed shooting a hammerhead shark at point blank range while his friend pulled the shark up to the boat on a fishing line. As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has opened an investigation into the incident but has refused to release the names of the fishermen.
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The disturbing footage was allegedly captured in Siesta Key near Sarasota, Florida. According to The Miami Herald, members of the community who viewed the video suggested the men in this video may be linked to the same group of men that tied a shark behind their boat and killed it in July.
The clip shows a man in a baseball hat armed with a small pistol shooting the shark in the gills as it was being captured. Russ Rector, an animal activist who claimed he received the footage from the person filming, said they were trying to cause the shark as much pain as possible.
“If you are going to kill a shark, you shoot it in the head,” he said. “He fired shots into the gill, causing the shark to bleed out and suffocate.”
Some images of the shooting were added to an Instagram account profile of alex_kampo July 18. Many were disturbed by what they witnessed, especially Rector. “My first reaction was how ridiculous it was and how cruel it was, quite frankly,” he explained. “This was all done so they can videotape it and show it to their friends.”
After the video was put onto social media, people expressed their disdain at the cruelty and created a change.com petition which, at the time of this writing, has over 2,000 signatures.
According to The Daily Mail, a MTV star is allegedly friends with one of the men who recorded himself dragging the shark in the July incident and has received death threats since the friendship was discovered.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has announced that both of these shark incidents are being investigated, but names are being withheld until the investigation concludes, keeping with prior policy.
Below is the disturbing footage of the shark shooting.