A fisherman who pulled a large stingray onto a beach was confronted by angry onlookers concerned for the animal’s wellbeing.
Ben Knighton was greeted by choruses of “put it back, put it back” on Brighton Beach in Adelaide on October 31 when the fish was pulled into shore by himself and two other men.
In a video uploaded to Facebook of the incident, a woman could at one point be seen attempting to take Mr Knighton’s fishing rod from him.
After being shared to the social media platform on Thursday, heated debate erupted about the incident with more than 130 people expressing conflicting opinions in comments to the video.
“Bunch of f***ing cruel scumbags,” one person wrote.
Many however, sided with Mr Knighton and praised him for the large catch, which he apparently had been working on reeling in for over an hour.
“Few sooks around by the looks. Solid catch,” someone said.
“Dude how did you not slap the shit out of someone? Great work man,” another added.
Mr Knighton, who was shown posing for a picture beside the stingray, told Storyful he was mindful to remove foreign objects from the mouths of animals he pulled from the ocean.
“I have one golden rule to never leave any hooks or tackle in the water or in the fish’s mouth,” he said.
He told 7 News that during the incident he had been “pushed and spat on by beach-goers.”
The footage showed Mr Knighton dragging the fish back out to the water while angry onlookers continued expressing their outrage from the beach.
Mr Knighton said he “watched her swim out into the sunset healthy and ready to fight another day.”
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