Something outrageous happened at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Hotel staff drug a blue shark from the water, and after it died on the beach, they posed for photos with it. Tragic in and of itself, this incident is reminiscent of when tourists in Argentina dragged two rare Franciscana dolphins to shore to take selfies with them. One of them, a baby dolphin, ended up dying as a result.
If you want to see the disturbing incident yourself, you can check out the YouTube video above of the people involved dragging the shark to shore, and then watched it flop around on land, gasping. Conservationist Gary Stokes posted the photos that were taken after the shark died. “Absolutely disgraceful behavior to entertain tourists!” he writes. He points out what apparently are lifeguards in the photos from the Hard Rock Hotel, distinguished by uniforms of red shirts and blue shorts.
People have left angry messages on the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Punta Cana’s Twitter feed:
The general Hard Rock Hotel Twitter page has responded to the controversy:
“That is absolutely against our standards of protecting animals as we protect our guests,” a Hard Rock Hotel spokesperson told animal conservation website The Dodo.
Since we’re in the social media age, it’s not hard to believe that easy access to cameras plus the desire to look cool on the internet could have driven this behavior. Still, animal cruelty has been around for much longer than that. The difference is that in this day and age, outrage about such occurrences can spread like wildfire. Just ask the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion.