President Donald Trump's sons have generated controversy once again among animal rights activists (video below).
Photos posted to Instagram show Donald Trump Jr., along with his sons, Donnie and Spencer, posing with a blacktip shark that was dragged onto the beach in Palm Beach, Florida, reports International Business Times.
He posted it with the caption: "This is what happens when momma lets the boys loose in Florida for a few days... Shh don't tell her. #parentgoals…. Amazing morning with Donnie, Spencer, and my buddy @blacktiph. This is one of half dozen Blacktip sharks (ALL CATCH AND RELEASE) we had on, 2 of which were attacked by a huge hammerhead (800+ pounds) all right off the beach. Insane day on the water."
A video done with the Trumps by the BlackTipH YouTube channel shows the younger Trump pulling on an oversized fishing pole at the edge of a beach, while a fisherman pulls in his catch for him. They released the shark back into the ocean after taking the celebratory pictures.
Animal rights organization PETA says catch-and-release is not as benign as its advocates claim:
Fish who are released after being caught can suffer from loss of their protective scale coating that makes them vulnerable to disease, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in their muscles, oxygen depletion, and damage to their delicate fins and mouths. According to one fishery expert, catch-and-release victims “could be vulnerable to predators, unable to swim away, or if nesting, not capable of fending off nest raiders. Some guarding males could in fact abandon the nest.” Researchers at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation found that as many as 43 percent of fish released after being caught died within six days.
In 2012, photos surfaced of Donald Jr. and his brother, Eric, posing with animals they shot while on a big game hunt in Africa, the Daily Mail reported at the time. One of the photos showed Donald Jr. holding the sawed off tail of an elephant.
The president reportedly does not share their love of killing animals.
"My sons love hunting," he told TMZ. "They're hunters and they've become good at it. I am not a believer in hunting and I'm surprised they like it."
"Like all animals, elephants, buffalo, and crocodiles deserve better than to be killed and hacked apart for two young millionaires’ grisly photo opportunity,” a PETA spokesperson told Hollywood Life at the time. “If the young Trumps are looking for a thrill, perhaps they should consider skydiving, bungee jumping, or even following in their anti-hunting father’s footsteps and taking down competing businesses -- not wild animals. If the Trumps want to help villagers, they have plenty of resources at their disposal.”