We have previously discussed outrageous acts by people passing around dolphins or other sea creatures for selfies — only to kill the animals (here and here and here). The latest alleged moron is Granger Ray Wooten, 21, who is accused of beaching a hammerhead shark, repeatedly punching it, and then taking photos of it.
Witnesses say that Wooten dragged a hammerhead shark out the water near the pier in St Andrews State Park in Florida on the evening of October 24. He was seen punching the shark in its gills. He and another male reportedly then sat a 4-year old boy on the shark for a photo opportunity. The shark was later found dead.
It is a truly horrific account. Wooten later reportedly said that he was merely punching the shark in an attempt to revive the animal. The officers said that he claimed to be trying to get air into the lungs of the shark to save — a questionable excuse since sharks do not have lungs. It is also not clear how the photos with the kids on top of the shark was meant to be therapeutic.
Wooten from Lafayette, Georgia has been charged with the offense of killing the hammerhead shark. As disgusting as this alleged crime may have been, it is clear only a misdemeanor which shows the utter lack of deterrence for such violence against saline. It is not clear why the other man was not charged.
It is obviously illegal to harvest, land, or kill hammerhead sharks, which are listed as endangered under the IUCN Red List.