FWC confirms investigation into more shark abuse

Community plans boycott of associated MTV show

SARASOTA, Fla. - New images of shark abuse have surfaced online, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirms the images are part of their larger investigation into a group of men who appear to have a history of wildlife abuse.

The FWC investigation is most notably about a shark that appears to have been intentionally dragged to shreds on the back of a boat captained by Michael Wenzel of Sarasota. 

The new images, which appear to be screenshots of videos from the video-sharing service Snapchat, shows what the blogger alleges is a captured Bull Shark being held captive in a family's swimming pool.

The blogger claims the images are from the same men behind the shark-dragging video.

FWC confirms they have obtained these images as well, and that they are part of the same investigation into Wenzel and others.

Another video shows a man pouring beer into a captured shark's gills.

Community outrage in the Sarasota County area has been mounting, with a growing petition to the FWC to jail the men (now over 55,000 signatures) and a growing push to protest an MTV reality show allegedly associated with one of the men involved in the videos.

The MTV show "Siesta Key" is set to premier Monday, July 31 at 10 p.m. but an official Watch Party, and preceding red carpet event at the local Cinebistro, was reportedly canceled after a protest was planned, and threats were made against the cast member associated with Wenzel, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Members of a Facebook group calling for a boycott of the MTV show have been warning group members not to make online threats, and to refrain from any acts of violence.

Governor Rick Scott has also weighed in on the controversy, calling for a review of state laws when it comes to wildlife abuse, and the FWC commissioner tells ABC Action News he agrees with Scott's assessment, and promises a thorough investigation.

So far, no charges have been filed.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com. Individuals can remain anonymous.

Print this article Back to Top