Great White Shark Kicked To Death By Group Of Men Who Took Selfies With It
A great white shark that died after being kicked repeatedly had been caught and brought to shore on purpose, a witness has claimed.
The shark died on a beach in Auckland, New Zealand, after succumbing to its injuries, although onlookers initially believed it to be stranded in the shallow water at Orewa Beach.
Concerned members of the public initially attempted to pull the shark into deeper water, along with two lifeguards, but their attempts proved futile when they realised it was already dead.
Now, eyewitnesses have claimed a group of men ‘purposefully caught [the shark] in a net’ before dragging it onto the beach. They then reportedly ‘repeatedly kicked it, damaged its jaw and took photos next to the dying animal’ – all while laughing.
When people attempted to intervene and get the great white away from the men, the group became ‘exceptionally intimidating’, according to the source.
They continued, as reported by Stuff:
Police and [the Department of Conservation] arrived on the scene as other beach goers attempted to pull the shark back into the water. The group of men gave false details to police and joined the larger group.
Police confirmed officers assisted with crowd control before helping Surf Lifesaving lifeguards as they attempted to deal with the shark. ‘One of the reports received mentioned people were allegedly kicking the shark prior to police arrival,’ a police spokesperson said.
Great white sharks are listed as ‘vulnerable’ globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are fully protected in New Zealand waters, making it illegal to take or harm great white sharks in New Zealand’s waters.
Department of Conservation marine scientist Clinton Duffy said the shark had been caught in a gill net, which is a single wall of netting anchored on the seabed to catch fish. Because great whites are a protected species, anyone who catches one must release them immediately by law.
All fisherman are required to report a great white catch to the Department of Conservation, even if they are successfully returned to the water.
The Department of Conservation is currently looking into the circumstances of the death but a spokesperson told Stuff they were ‘not able to provide any further information at this time’.
Police are assisting with the investigation and have encouraged anyone with information to phone 105 or DOC on 0800 362 468.
If caught, offenders face fines of up to $250,000 and six months in prison.
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CreditsStuff and 1 other
International Union for Conservation of Nature