TAMPA - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into another disturbing video, this time, of a hammerhead shark getting drowned in beer. Shark experts that viewed the footage believe the shark was close to death or dying at the time the beer was poured into the gills.
This is the second video to surface of shark abuse in the past week.
FWC investigators were already investigating a viral video that showed a shark being dragged behind a boat at a high rate of speed. ABC Action News identified Michael Wenzel as the captain of the speed boat dragging the shark to death.
The FWC tells ABC Action News they believe the video was recorded on the West coast of Florida.
A Jan. 5 Facebook post from a fan page named, Doyouevenfishbro, tagged Michael Wenzel.
The post read, “partner @michaelwenzel sent us in this beer bong of a hammer.”
The 15 second video, that now has more than 40,000 views shows a man drinking beer laying underneath a hammerhead shark. Another man is pouring beer into the shark’s gills. The title of the video says “who needs a beer bong?”
As the camera pans to the right of the boat the shark’s head goes limp and lifeless. Two other men are seen at the end of the video laughing.
“That makes it monstrous,” Eric Hovland said. Hovland is a Marine Biologist, shark expert, and Associate Curator of the Florida Aquarium. Hovland has seen both videos and is still sick to his stomach about the treatment of not only the sharks, but any animal.
“A shark, like a hammerhead, stresses out,” Hovland said. “That level of abuse pouring a beer into any animal, it doesn't have to be a shark at that point, it's about respecting yourself. It’s watching a living creature be somebody's pool toy. As someone who cares about animals it is reprehensible. No creature should be treated like that. It's not about sharks it's about humanity at that point.”
ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska reached out to the page administrator for doyouevenfishbro, but we have not heard back.
We reached out to FWC to confirm if Wenzel is in the hammerhead video. They released a statement:
The FWC wont be identifying any of the individuals in videos while there is an open and active investigation. I can say that investigators are looking at all submitted material to determine if any other violations have occurred, or if they are images that have been previously investigated.
Hovland is optimistic that these cases of shark abuse are isolated. Everyday at Florida Aquarium Hovland said he teaches children and adults about the beauty of marine life and respecting all wildlife in Florida. He hopes the younger generation will grow up to respect nature, not destroy it.
“People don't have to accept that kind of behavior. It's not acceptable in our society. It is not what Florida should be known for,” Hovland said. “We got hundreds of thousands of kids through our doors and that is what inspires me and gives me hope. We are raising generations of kids… that are learning to love and embrace sharks.”