Sometimes it is hard to believe how cruel, and lacking in humanity, people can be (though sometimes I worry that it is all too easy to believe). The shark-dragging case is one of those times:
While fishing in state waters near Egmont Key in Hillsborough County, Benac shot a blacknose shark with a speargun at about 3 p.m. Heintz took a photo of Benac holding the speargun and Wenzel holding a gaffed blacknose shark with a spear through it.
Twenty minutes later, Wenzel shot a video as Benac, Easterling and Heintz danced on the bow of the boat. Benac was holding the speargun.
Less than two hours later, Benac caught a six-foot blacktip shark on a hook and line in state waters near Egmont Key, the reports said.
At 5:08 p.m., Heintz recorded Benac retrieving the shark. In the 10-second video, as the shark is pulled near the right side of the boat by Benac, Wenzel shoots the shark one time with a .38 revolver in the left side of the head, near the gills, the report said.
“All occupants can be heard celebrating by laughing,” according to the report.
At 5:10 p.m., Heintz recorded Benac continuing to fight with the shark. The eight-second video shows Wenzel shoot at the shark three times with the same revolver as it is pulled close to the left side of the boat, the report said.
After the shooting, all occupants cheered and erupted into laughter, the report said.
The report said it was unknown whether any of the bullets hit the shark. However, after being shot at, the shark tried again to flee.
At 5:14 p.m., the shark was landed and Wenzel recorded it lying on its back and tail roped. During the video, the occupants are heard laughing while Easterling holds the rope.
The next 10-second video shows Wenzel driving the boat while Benac records the shark as it’s dragged at high speed. The shark can be seen bouncing and skipping across the surface of the water.
As the camera pans to the port side, Heintz is seen recording the same incident. In both videos, all of the men are seen and heard laughing while the shark is dragged.
These guys are beyond redemption (and beyond stupid for posting their cruelty on social media). But what gives me hope is the strong reaction to their cruelty. Maybe this incident, like the starving polar bear I posted earlier, can help people break through their disconnectedness to the natural world, and inspire them to do more to protect the interests of nonhuman animals and the environments they live in.