A Feb. 20 video (below) of a Florida man dragging a struggling shark out of the ocean to pose with for pictures has sparked controversy.
The video shows the man pulling the blacktip shark out and holding it against the sand so he can pose with it for photos by onlookers.
For about one minute the shark writhes underneath the man’s arms as he tries to take a photo with a good angle.
Eventually someone else throws the shark back into the water, although it ends up washing back up on shore.
It is then placed deeper into the waster but "it did not resurface for several minutes,” journalist Ashleigh Walters, who captured the incident and uploaded it onto Facebook, said.
It is unclear whether the shark survived, Walters notes.
In the video, it appears the shark was caught on a fishing line. So, the pictures may have been a catch-and-release shots.
The video provoked extreme reactions among many on social media.
“Anyone who defends this calling this any form of 'fishing.' This is not fishing. This is an ego thing, just like trophy hunting, where this second rate human being and his school of guppies has the need to pose with the shark. Don't insult fishermen with your stupidity,” Emily Egnever wrote.
Others claimed anger over the incident is irrational.
“I'm always confused about the uproar when people bring a shark out of the water. Do you protest when a bass is lifted out of the water too?” Alex Stephens wrote. Keren Camp sarcastically jokes, “But what about the fish they used as bait? Why isn't anyone standing up for that fish? It's a double-homicide!!!”
Some argued in response that fishing in general should be illegal.
“It's a hobby for selfish [people] who need to dominate animals to feel good about themselves,” Chris Mulcaster said.
The video comes after a Franciscan dolphin, a species of dolphin that could face extinction, in Argentina died after a man tried taking photos with it, reports UPI.
"This incident should serve to remind people about the need to return these dolphins to the sea if one is found outside of the water," the Argentine affiliate of the World Wildlife Foundation said. "It's fundamental that people help rescue these animals because every Franciscan has a value."