WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. A keen fisherman who reeled in a monster four-metre great hammerhead shark has rubbished claims that he “killed it for fun”.
Poco Cedillo took to Facebook to share a series of images and vision of him reeling in the “shark catch of multiple lifetimes” after a 75-minute struggle along the Padre Island National Seashore in Texas.
After leading it to the shoreline, Mr Cedillo said he and the other anglers noticed the shark was becoming increasingly tired.
“We quickly took pics, got a length measurement, took the hook out and did all we could to get her released,” he posted to Facebook.
“All that only took around 3-5 min while it (was) still in plenty deep water… our main focus was to get her released quickly.”
But sadly those attempts were unsuccessful.
“Well after 30-40 min of us holding her up into the current in 3-4’ of water we were faced with accepting the fact that she was done,” he added.
“We were so tired, shark rashed and disappointed that it sucked the excitement right out of us for a while.”
In a message to a local publication, he reiterated that they had no intention of trying to kill the shark, saying “it’s not what we do”.
Not wanting the shark to go to waste, the fishermen quickly decided to save the meat. They then cooled it down and donated the shark meat to Good Samaritan Rescue Mission.
While several social media users praised the anglers for saving the meat, others rebuked Mr Cedillo’s defence, saying “the shark died because of you”.
“You should have let it go long before it was that tired, there is really no reason to fishing for shark other than your own self-satisfaction,” one woman wrote.
“This animal died for no other reason other than you wanted this pleasure. Maybe you didn’t mean for it to die but it did how sad.”
“Hammerheads are protected. Why didn’t you cut him/her lose the minute you knew it was a shark?” another asked.
“You stressed that poor endangered creature for your own pleasure.”