It happened in Palm Beach, Florida, as a man caught a bull shark in the Atlantic Ocean while fishing, then pulled it on to the beach to pose for selfies and videos. A video taken of the incident has since gone viral.
The man reportedly pinned the juvenile bull shark down on the beach for around one minute while posing for photos and video before letting the shark go in deeper waters.
This is terrible. Never grab a wild animal to take its photo! https://t.co/jcrib5sIHx
— Wildlife Impact (@WildlifeImpact) February 22, 2016
In the video, the Florida man can be seen catching the bull shark while fishing, then grabbing hold of the shark and pulling it from the ocean to the beach with his bare hands. The video was posted by Ashleigh Walters, a reporter for NBC affiliate WPTV Channel 5, on her Facebook page on February 21, where it has gone viral as over 71,000 fascinated viewers have watched and shared it at the time of writing.
The man reportedly initially had problems getting a good enough grasp on the bull shark, but did eventually manage to hold on to it and bring it up on to the beach. You can watch the video of the incident below.
According to CDA News, the bull shark is considered to be one of the three most dangerous sharks to humans, along with great whites and tiger sharks. Reportedly 27 deaths have been reported and attributed to bull sharks. What makes them even more dangerous is the fact they can live in both fresh and salt water. The sharks reach a fair size as mature bull sharks can reportedly reach lengths of seven to 11 feet, and can weigh from 200 to 300 pounds.
The Inquisitr has reported several stories relating to bull sharks and shark attacks, including a pregnant Australian woman who was attacked by a suspected bull shark in Thailand. In another incident, an angry bull shark capsized a kayak, throwing a fisherman into the water.
According to Walters, the bull shark captured by the Florida man had possibly been trapped in shallow water for a few days and the man, with the aid of an onlooker, did finally return it to deeper water. The first attempt apparently resulted in the bull shark washing back onto the sand but their second attempt was successful. At first, the bull shark did not surface, but within minutes was seen to be swimming out to even deeper water.
— Shark Week (@SharkWeek) February 22, 2016
According to 9 News, bull sharks are often seen swimming in the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast of Florida and juvenile bull sharks have been spotted all the way down the coast from Palm Beach to Daytona Beach. This is reportedly due to the fact that the Indian River Lagoon is known to be an important nursery habitat for the sharks and the lagoon stretches from Palm Beach County down to southern Volusia County.
There have been many other sharks spotted along the east coast of Florida in the last few days, including thousands of blacktips and other species. While the latest incident with the bull shark saw it released into deeper water, its fate is currently unknown.
While the current incident appears to have had a happy ending, there has been far more tragic news recently relating to selfies and dolphins. As reported by the Inquisitr, a rare baby La Plata dolphin died recently in Buenos Aires after being pulled ashore by beachgoers, posing for selfies. The beachgoers then abandoned the baby dolphin on the sand, leading to its tragic death.