MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials are asking for the public’s help regarding a case in which a shark was shot and left to bleed to death in the water.
A video showed two men catching a hammerhead shark on a fishing rod, shooting it twice in the gills and laughing as the wounded animal bleeds out in the water.
“This videotape speaks for itself. It is heinous,” said South Florida animal activist Russ Rector.
Rector told 7News that the person who filmed the graphic scene sent him the video. The video is now part of a state investigation.
“He didn’t even have the knowledge, the courtesy or the empathy to put the bullet in the shark’s head. He shot the shark repeatedly in the gills,” said Rector. “Shooting a shark in the gills is not an instant kill. That shark bled out and suffocated.”
A Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesman said, “That video was forwarded to us as a result of the public outcry from the first shark dragging video. The video is being investigated, and FWC can’t confirm identities.”
Earlier, FWC received a video in June of a shark being violently dragged behind a boat. Images of the shark’s shredded remains were displayed in the video.
The men involved in that video are believed to be from the Sarasota area, but no arrests have been made.
FWC is also investigating video of a hammerhead being used as a beer bong.
Footage showed a group laughing as one man drank beer from below the shark’s body.
“That makes it monstrous. Pouring that liquid into that shark. That shark was probably far gone, or on it’s way out already,” said shark expert Eric Hovland.
As for the most recent video of a hammerhead getting shot to death, officials are trying to determine when and where it happened. FWC noted that it is illegal to shoot a shark in Florida waters, but it’s not against the law in federal waters.
The shooting is now and open state investigation.
If you have any information about the people in that video contact FWC.