Man charged with punching 8ft hammerhead shark to death
A 21-year-old man is facing charges in Florida after he allegedly punched a hammerhead shark which later died.
Wildlife officials say they received a call from a witness claiming two men brought an 8ft-long hammerhead shark ashore, the Panama City News Herald reports.
“The white male had his left arm around the shark’s head and was punching it repeatedly in the stomach,” eyewitness Robert Petty said in sworn statement to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).
Petty told the FWC that after punching the shark, the men dragged it up the beach and sat a small child on top of it before taking a photo.
“The two white males then pulled the shark back into the water and tried to revive it, apparently to no avail," said Petty.
When questioned by officers one of the men, Granger Ray Wooten of Lafayette, Georgia, allegedly admitted he had caught the shark, but denied anyone had hit the animal.
Mr Wooten then changed his story and attempted to explain to me that he was punching the shark around the stomach area to get the air out of its lungs,” said one of the officers in an official statement.
“Then he said, ‘It’s kinda like doing CPR on a shark.’ I explained to Mr Wooten that if he wanted to revive the shark all he had to do was run water through the shark’s gills.”
Mr Wooten was charged with taking a prohibited species, and his arraignment is scheduled to take place on December 7.