Earlier this week, we reported on the online outraged from many over a video posted on social media of a group of men laughing as they dragged a shark behind their boat. After those angered by the incident began searching, they found that this isn’t the first time these men have tortured sea animals. The incidents garnered so much attention that a petition was created against the men.
Shortly after the video of the shark being dragged surfaced on Tuesday, Florida wildlife officials said they have confirmed the identity of the men in the video, but they would not release the names to the public.
However, some who were angered by the video recognized the men and decided to take it upon themselves to release their names. Apparently, this is not the first time that Michael Wenzel and Robert Lee “Bo” Benac have shown themselves mistreating animals. There are a string of incidents showing the two men in similar situations.
According to the Miami Herald, the two men are anglers in the area and have had various complaints filed against them. As more people began to discover more incriminating evidence against the men, outrage grew.
Wenzel had a video on his Instagram (before deleting his account) of him shooting a shark with a pistol when it swam by the boat. Another disturbing photo was found of the two men holding an endangered Goliath grouper’s mouth open and pouring beer down its mouth.
In 2015, Wenzel was investigated for posting disturbing images of him holding a pelican’s bill.
According to the Daily Mail, no charges came from that investigation because of the difficulty investigating a matter that was depicted in a video.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says that it has launched an investigation into the activities of Wenzel and Benac and anyone else who may have joined them in injuring or killing Florida wildlife.
A spokesman for the commission acknowledged that they have viewed the viral video and are investigating. They want to find out where the incident took place and who else was involved.
According to the New York Post, a petition has been started to force law enforcement to punish the men involved. In the petition, men and women have posted their thoughts on the “sociopathic behavior” displayed by the men.
“This sociopathic behavior demands attention and prevention,” the petition reads. “Many feel that this act of violence is in fact a criminal act … We also demand that everyone in this video has their fishing license revoked permanently.”
Hopefully, the investigation will result in criminal charges.