A blue shark that seemed to be stranded in shallow water in the beaches of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, was hauled out of the water by beach-goers and lifeguards.
A video circulating on social media shows a group of men, reportedly lifeguards from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, approaching the shark with ropes and a small fishing net. Once the animal was tied up, they pulled it out of the water, and people at the beach posed for photos with the fish.
One man is seen putting a lifesaver over the shark’s head to keep it from biting. After an undetermined of time out of the water, the shark died.
Photos and videos are circulating online.
“Absolutely disgraceful behavior to entertain tourists!” Ocean activist and photographer Gary Stokes wrote in a Facebook post, “Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Caribbean, great steps are being taken to preserve sharks.”
A similar incident occurred earlier this year in Argentina when two La Plata or Franciscana dolphins – one of the smallest species of dolphins in the world – was plucked out of the ocean at the beach resort of Santa Teresita in northeastern Buenos Aires province.
People on the beach gathered around to snap photos of the tiny sea mammals. One animal survived the ordeal, but the other perished, and its body was left on the sand.
According to some reports, the lifeguards in the Dominican Republic pulled the shark out because they feared it would bite swimmers.
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the blue shark, or Prionace glauca, rarely attacks humans. From 1850 until 2013, the blue shark was only implicated in 13 attacks on humans – four of them fatal.