Bloke accused of bludgeoning shark to death and ripping out gills with hammer

Wildlife officials have recommended a man caught on video beating a shark to death be hit with two misdemeanour charges.

The unnamed Florida man was videoed hitting a lemon shark to death on a public beach in December while another man watched on.

The blonde-haired man was then seen throwing the shark’s corpse into the ocean afterwards.

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Witnesses to the horrific scene filmed in the city of Indian Harbor Beach told Florida Today they saw the man using the hammer to rip out the shark’s gills, only stopping when he realised people were watching him.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state-wide body in charge of maintaining and protecting wildlife, recommended he be charged with two offences after its investigation found the suspect violated two fishing statutes.

It is now up to the Attorney General of Florida to decide whether to pursue charges.

The office of the Attorney General of Florida told Florida Today that it had not yet charged the unnamed man, nor had it received the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s recommendation.

In Florida, first-degree misdemeanour charges can be punished by up to one year in prison, while those prosecuted for second-degree charges can be given up to 60 days in prison.

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According to documents obtained by Florida Today, the charges against the man accuse him of harvesting or possessing a prohibited species, and not releasing a prohibited species "without unnecessary harm" after catching it.

The lemon shark is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, meaning the species is currently being threatened with extinction.

The species, which can grow up to 3.4 metres long, mostly feed on fish and crustaceans.

There have only been 10 recorded instances of a lemon shark biting a human being, none of which were fatal.

The Daily Star has contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the office of the Attorney General of Florida for comment.


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