A new video of a living whale shark being cut up into pieces has gone viral because it is upsetting thousands of people. It features footage of the animal being pulled onshore before people start hacking him into pieces to sell the meat at a nearby market in China. You can hear the poor beast screaming while it’s being hacked up.
Unfortunately, the practice of butchering live whale sharks (and other animals) happens all the time in many countries and is actually the norm. We may not be accustomed to seeing such cruelty, especially in live footage, but it happens every single day. And it’s very saddening.
We at First to Know debated about whether or not it would be responsible for us to post this very graphic video on our website for viewers to see. On the one hand, we felt that it’s important to keep our viewers informed, even about such dark and depressing topics. On the other hand, we felt that the content is so upsetting and it possibly glorifies the torture that this living animal endured for the sale of its flesh.
If you still want to see the footage of this poor whale shark quivering while being sliced into pieces, you’re welcome to, by clicking here.
The good news is that according to the Chinese state broadcaster, this particular incident is now being investigated by the local fisheries department but it is unclear whether any charges will be brought.
The whale shark is a protected species according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. This means that its trade is strictly controlled. The men in the video will be in big trouble when they are caught.
The reason the whale shark is an endangered species is because a single specimen could sell for around $31,000. Its meat is considered a delicacy to many.