A Florida beachgoer was seen dragging what appears to be a juvenile bull shark from the waters of Palm Beach to take a picture with it. This incident is yet another example of how humans mistreat wild animals, and has raised some concern among animal rights activists.
Unlike the recent encounter in Argentina, where a young Franciscana dolphin was pulled from the water and passed around at a beach in Santa Terisita, a concerned Samaritan quickly dragged the shark back into the waves. Unfortunately, it struggled to return to the ocean.
The brutal incident was filmed by Ashleigh Walters, a television news reporter from the local NBC affiliate WPTV, who posted the video to her Facebook page. In the footage, the shark is seen wriggling on the beach, just past the surf's edge. Then a man pulls it farther ashore and puts a strong hold on its head and tail to get a better grasp before posing for photos. (Scroll to read more...)
The video ends with an attempt by another beachgoer to set the struggling creature back into the surf, but it washes ashore again. The second attempt, however, is successful. While the shark did not resurface for several minutes after being placed in deeper waters, it was later seen swimming farther offshore, though it is not clear whether or not it survived after it time on the beach.
Dragging a shark ashore in this manner is not only harmful for the animal itself but for the people, too. Bull sharks are considered one of the three most dangerous sharks to humans, falling behind great whites and tiger sharks. They are also one of the few species that can live in both fresh and salt water.
Bull sharks are named for their short, blunt snout, as well as for their peculiar habit of head-butting their prey before attacking. They are medium-size sharks, with white bellies and fins with dark tips.
They prefer cruising shallow, warm waters and can be found in almost all of the world's oceans. They are fast, agile predators that will eat almost anything they cross paths with. While humans are not their preferred choice of prey, they are known to attack people.
Bull sharks aren't the only ones vacationing Florida waters, either. Thousands of less violent blacktip sharks have been spotted along Florida's coast in the past couple weeks.
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