We have discussed disgraceful attacks or abuse of wild animals from birds to squirrels to tortoises to rabbits to sharks in the past but few reach the level of reported savagery as this week in New Zealand where a shark allegedly was pulled from the water and kicked to death on a beach. Most of us cannot imagine wanting to participate in such an attack on a wild creature. Indeed, many of us travel hundreds or thousands of miles just to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats. Yet, there remain many people who get a sick joy in harming animals or watching such unspeakable scenes of cruelty. The most distressing element is to see children in some of these pictures. However, the one promising note is that there were people who sought to intervene to help the shark though they said that they roughly treated by the mob.
The police have said that suspects gave conflicting accounts and that there appears evidence that the shark was purposely pulled to shore where a mob kicked it to death. A lifeguard interceded and pulled (with the help of other beachgoers) the shark back into the water. It was too late. It washed back up on to the shore dead.
A witness told the media that men pulled the shark to the beach and people laughed as it was kicked to death and other took selfies.
Great white sharks are listed as ‘vulnerable’ globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and New Zealand imposes fines of up to $250,000 (around £128,000) and six months imprisonment for such cruelty. That is better than the punishment meted out to a Florida man who got just 10 days to dragging a shark out of the water to die or the Icelandic fishermen who received no criminal punishment for torturing a shark.
Police are investigating the crime.
Kudos: Professor Roger Schechter