A tourist who was filmed trying to take a selfie with a shark on a Brazilian beach has been slapped with a £5,000 fine, it was reported on Wednesday.
The woman, who has not been publicly named, grabbed the shark pup from the sea as she walked along the beach in the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, off the coast of Brazil, quoted from Daily Mail.
But as she wrestled with the shark it bit into her hand, leaving the 35-year-old holidaymaker needing stitches. Eventually a friend, who was standing by ready to take the picture, helps her remove the creature before she tosses it back into the water.
On Tuesday night, the woman and her boyfriend, who had filmed the incident,were charged with animal cruelty and ordered to pay a fine of around £2,500 each.
The archipelago’s Chico Mendes Biodiversity Institute stipulated the penalty after it emerged the animal was an endangered lemon shark and the beach was in the Marinho national park, a conservation area.
Signs in the 69-square-mile park warn visitors not to kill, catch, disturb or feed the animals.
Following the incident on Monday, the woman was admitted to the island’s Sao Lucas Hospital where she received four stitches on her hand, according to reports.
The video was met with harsh criticism from social network users after the couple, from Brazil’s northeastern state of Paraiba, posted it online.
One, Joao Quinto, wrote: “Why? To put a photo on Facebook? Isn’t it enough that animals have their own habitats destroyed, we have to harass them in their refuges? I hope she’s learned her lesson.”
Another user wrote: “We’ve become such strangers to nature that casually grabbing a shark for a selfie now seems like a good idea.”
The incident comes just a year after a dolphin died on an Argentinian beach because onlookers took selfies with the animal instead of putting it back in the water.
And in June last year a blue shark was left dead after a group of tourist pulled it out of the water to take a selfie in the Dominican Republic.
Source: dailymail.co.uk / Author: Matt Roper