There have been too many instances of people interfering with nature for the sake of a selfie.
Case in point, one Brazilian woman spotted a baby shark and decided it was the perfect prop for her next photo. Here’s the thing though: sharks are dangerous.
A bystander captured the moment on video, as the woman is seen pulling the shark out of the water by its tail. As you’d imagine, the shark was not too happy with getting yanked by the tail and latched onto her finger immediately. Her husband rushed to help her, still holding a camera to capture the moment.
After they were able to pry the jaws open and get the animal off her hand, she had to get four stitches.
The incident occurred on a beach within the Marinho National Marine Park in Baia do Sueste in Fernando de Noronha, about 215 miles off the northeast coast of Brazil.
The Diario de Pernambuco newspaper reported that the woman was charged with the “environmental crime of molesting an animal inside a conservation area.” She was fined for the infraction.
The Fernando De Noronha’s National Marine Park provided an update about the incident on their Facebook page, explaining that the woman had captured “an endangered species, the lemon shark” and noting that the couple were each fined $3,200.
The park further explained that the area is a “protected natural environment where species live, interact and complete their natural cycles” and that “respect for other living beings…guarantees the perpetuation of this environment and the species that live in it.”
Those weighing in with comments on The Dodo‘s coverage of this story had plenty to say, with notes such as: “Idiots. Leave the marine animals alone. The fine should be way higher for your stupidity” and “Shocking how rough they were being with that little baby shark. Glad they are being fined!!”
Another commenter believed: “It would have been good if the shark had bitten off her finger. Stupid is as stupid does. People are the stupidest creatures on earth when it comes to provoking animals.”
This person noted: “I was rooting for the shark. Looks like the husband was too. Despite others filming, he would not put his camera down to help his wife.”
Someone else pointed out this helpful information that provides a bit of perspective: “In the video you can hear in the background this Brazilian lady asking them if they were marine conservationists and then when the husband says they just wanted a picture this lady gets really mad at them. The video should have been subtitled.”
There was also a debate over whether the woman knew the rules, with one person noting: “If it was in a protected area, chances are there were signs everywhere. When my family travelled to Punalu’u, one of the first things we were told was to not harass the turtles.”
Another person added: “Rules or no rules… in what country, or lifetime has it ever been a good idea to grab a shark, baby or otherwise. Yes, it’s an animal in its natural habitat.”
One commenter added: “Poor shark, not only it was grabbed and squeezed so hard, it was thrown down in shallow water. A stupid heartless woman!”