Beachgoers on an Italian island have been filmed dragging a shark out of shallow water to allegedly pose for selfies with it.
The shocking incident was filmed along the coast of Fontanamare in the municipality of Gonnesa on the Italian island of Sardinia last week.
It's thought that the unfortunate fish was a blue shark – a species that are considered mostly harmless to humans.
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The shark was eventually pushed back into the sea after several beachgoers complained to those who dragged it ashore.
The footage sparked outrage on social media, with many accusing the group of dragging the shark onto the beach in order to pose for photos with it.
However, one eyewitness claimed that the beachgoers actually saved the shark’s life, writing: “I was present there. The shark beached itself quite a few times. In the end, it was possible to bring it to safety thanks to the smart guys there.”
After being returned to the sea, the shark reportedly swam away.
Now, animal rights activist Enrico Rizzi has hired a law firm to look into the matter, according to local media.
Lawyer Alessio Cugini Borgese said: “In the footage, several swimmers are seen in the sea. Some of them are intent on dragging what appears to be a small shark out of the water.
"The animal seems to be visibly suffering, so much so as to anger some of the other beach goers present.
“Other people asked those who dragged it out of the water to return it.
"Now, it is clear that the conduct of those who caused the unfortunate animal to be literally torn from its habitat, subjecting it to torture and causing it to suffer due to its tormentors ridiculing it, are liable under article 544-ter of the Italian Criminal Code.”
The lawyer said that they are attempting to identify the people in the video before referring the case to the public prosecutor’s office.
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