Debate is swirling around a video out of Palm Beach, Florida, that shows a man reeling in a shark, wrestling it in the sand and snapping photos with the animal.
The footage, captured by NBC affiliate WPTV, shows fishermen hooking a 4-5 foot blacktip shark over the weekend. Video shared by one of the station's reporters has been viewed nearly 350,000 times and has garnered hundreds of comments, many of them expressing outrage.
"But first let me take a selfie?!? Put the damn shark back in the water," one commenter posted. "How about submerging the human in water and holding him down several minutes to take a picture?!? How would he feel? EXACTLY!!!"
"Let's pose while a creature who lives in water feels like it is drowning in our air... I am sorry, I feel this is cruel," another said. "I am sure it was brought into our world by the guy with the fishing Pole, they should have released it immediately.. My opinion..."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said shark fishing is permitted and even common.
"There's nothing legally wrong with this," Florida Atlantic University biological science professor Dr. Stephen Kajiura told WPTV, adding that fishing for sharks is a popular sport.
The professor added, however, that sharks can be harmed in the process.
"When it starts thrashing and flipping around, it could be doing internal damage that the fisherman can't see," Kajiura explained. "It looks like it swims away just fine, but it might be swimming away with a ruptured liver, for example."
This shark incident comes on the heels of another controversial human-animal interaction in Argentina, when a baby dolphin died on a beach last week after a group of people passed the animal around for pictures, a wildlife foundation said.
Shark fishing from the shore is allowed in Florida but prohibited on certain guarded areas of beach in Palm Beach County. The fishermen reportedly followed those rules.
While it's not legal to fish for some types of sharks, it is legal to catch a blacktip like the one seen in the video.
The fishermen in the video told WPTV they returned the shark to the water in less than 90 second and always pay attention to the people around them.