A CRUEL fisherman who laughed as he filmed a shark being dragged by a boat to its death has been jailed for just 10 days.
Robert Lee “Bo” Benac III, 30, was one of three men who took part in the sick stunt in Florida which daw them accused of “animal lynching.”
Robert Lee ‘Bo’ Benac III, 30, was one of three men who took part in the sick stunt[/caption]
The shark, which had rope around its tail, died after being pulled at high speed behind a speedboat filled with cackling men.
Footage shows the men appearing to enjoy watching the shark being brutally flung around in the water in June 2017.
“Look, it’s already almost dead,” one of the men says as he points towards the helpless animal.
Benac, who is the son of Manatee County Commissioner Betsy Benac, initially faced felony charges over the viral video.
But he was allowed to plead down to misdemeanour charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and violation of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
He was sentenced to 10 days in the Hillsborough County jail, all of which can be served over weekends, according to the reports.
Benac was also given 11 months of probation and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service – half of which can be in an animal shelter.
He was also ordered to pay a $2,500 (£2,000) fine.
Benac’s attorney, Justin Petredis, admitted they took the last-minute deal because the video had been shared so widely and sparked such outrage.
“That was a worry, that the anger and emotions of the jury would outweigh where we were hoping common sense would take over,” Petredis told the Tampa Bay Times.
Michael Wenzel, 23, who piloted the boat, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanour charges in exchange for 10 days in jail and probation in a similar plea deal in May last year, according to the paper.
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The video was posted to Instagram by shark hunter Mark Quartiano, otherwise known as “Mark the Shark”, after the footage was reportedly sent to him by one of the men that may have been on the boat.
“I just couldn’t believe it … somebody’s actually sending me maybe an illegal video of a shark being tortured,” he told Florida news station Local10 News.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years and never even seen anything close to that kind of disrespect to an animal.”
The shark, which had rope around its tail, died after being pulled at high speed[/caption]
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