FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH. Fla. (WSVN) — A diver is being recognized for the viral video she took of a shark as it was dragged on shore by two men. She witnessed what she viewed as a violent act on a shark, and instead of turning a blind eye to it, she wanted as many people as possible to see what happened.
The animal lover was honored Thursday in Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Mariana Sabogal filmed the video on New Smyrna Beach in August showing two men dragging a shark out of the water. They later stabbed it in the head.
“I’m definitely very, very happy with what I did,” said Sabogal. “Unfortunately, it was my only reaction, the only thing that I felt I could do.”
Neither of the men shown in the hour-and-21-minute video will face charges, but their actions sparked global outrage.
“I’m honestly very, very amazed of the reach that video had. I think if there is one thing that video brought is awareness globally on how we’re treating sharks here in Florida,” said Sabogal.
“The world has spoken, and this is animal cruelty,” said Susan Hargreaves CEO of Animal Hero Kids. “It needs to stop.”
Animal activist Hargreaves and her charity, Animal Hero Kids, applauded Sabogal for her act of courage. They said what happened on the beach constitutes as animal cruelty.
“Just because this shark is a shark and not a dog, then the perpetrators were not legally prosecuted, and they should have been. It doesn’t matter what type of animal or species we are talking about, suffering is suffering, and this was definitely suffering,” said Hargreaves.
Sabogal also hopes the video motivates others to speak out about animal cruelty.
“Because it is deemed as legal, that doesn’t make it right, and if there is anything that we see that, at least like pictures, any animal being treated the wrong way, do not hesitate to do something,” she said.
Right now, it’s legal to fish for sharks in Florida as long as the shark isn’t a protected species.
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