What should the penalty be for wantonly abusing a shark for ego and social media giggles? We’re about to find out:
Nearly five months after video surfaced on social media of a shark being dragged by a speeding boat, three men are facing animal abuse charges as a result of the investigation sparked by public outrage.
Robert Lee “Bo” Benac, 28, Michael Wenzel, 21, and Spencer Heintz, 23, have each been charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony, according to a press release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Tuesday. Benac and Wenzel also face one count of illegal method of take of a shark, a second-degree misdemeanor.
If ever there was a moment to draw a clear, bright line regarding animal cruelty, and to set an example that says abusing sharks will come with (severe) consequences, this is it. Hope they throw the book at them and win convictions that count.