MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials are investigating a viral video that has been making waves on the internet and with animal rights activists.
The video appears to show a shark being dragged behind a boat in the open water on the west coast of Florida.
The video was sent to shark hunter Mark “The Shark” Quartiano, who posted it online, Monday.
“I was just shocked, horrified,” said Quartiano. “I just couldn’t believe any individual would do something so cruel.”
Quartiano said he couldn’t believe his eyes. He said he shared the video online because he had to speak up.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I go, ‘Look at this, somebody is actually sending me maybe an illegal video of a shark being tortured,'” said Quartiano, “so immediately I posted it. I wanted to get the reaction of my followers, and it was very, very bad feedback.”
The video already has over 43,000 views.
“We kill the sharks, you know, humanely. We kill them the right away,” said Quartiano. “A lot of the sharks we catch are tagged and released, also. The way these guys did it, with a rope tied around its tail, there’s no sportsman-like conduct. There’s no way for the shark to get away.”
Quartiano said he was also sent a picture of what was left of the shark after it was killed.
“Never even seen anything close to that kind of disrespect to an animal,” said Quartiano.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received a web tip about the video, Monday, and is looking into the incident.
FWC spokesperson Rob Klepper told 7News, “The FWC takes this very seriously and is currently investigating this incident. We are also attempting to identify the individuals in the video and where it took place.”
“Hopefully these guys won’t do this again,” said Quartiano, “and maybe they will be prosecuted because it’s cruelty to animals, and it’s just not right.”
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