ENVIRONMENT
08/07/2017 06:15 pm ET

Activists Claim Video Shows MTV Reality Star Shooting Hammerhead Shark

MTV declined to comment on whether Alex Kompothecras, of the show "Siesta Key," was involved in the incident.

A disturbing video circulating on social media appears to show a Florida man shooting a hammerhead shark from a boat, prompting accusations against an MTV reality star who was peripherally connected to another recent video of violent shark abuse.

The more recent video shows a man reeling in a fishing line with a shark on it. Another man, in a red baseball cap and sunglasses, shoots the shark twice and appears to laugh.

Russ Rector, an animal activist, told The Bradenton Herald that he was given the footage by the person who shot it. He was told that it was filmed off of Siesta Key, Florida, where MTV’s new reality show “Siesta Key” is based, and where hammerheads are protected.

In the video, a man wearing a red baseball cap shoots a hammerhead shark twice.
YouTube
In the video, a man wearing a red baseball cap shoots a hammerhead shark twice.

Animal activists claim the shooter is Alex Kompothecras, a cast member on “Siesta Key,” according to CBS News.

Photos on social media ― including on Facebook pages for “Siesta Key” and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ― show a man who resembles Kompothecras, wearing a red cap and sunglasses and posing with a bloody hammerhead shark. The photos appear to be screen shots taken from Kompothecras’ Instagram account.

Kompothecras on Friday admitted to People that there were some upsetting photos of him posing with wildlife on his Instagram account. Those photos have been deleted.

“There are images of me and I feel horrible,” he told People. “I am embarrassed and it won’t happen again.”

Kompothecras did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Kompothecras was previously criticized after being linked to several men who are suspected of violently dragging a shark behind a speedboat, the Miami Herald reported last week. Kompothecras said that he was friends with one of the men in that video but did not “agree with what he did.” MTV subsequently canceled a “Siesta Key” screening party after protesters threatened to demonstrate outside.

A “Boycott Siesta Key MTV” Facebook page had accrued more than 13,500 followers as of Monday afternoon ― about 2,000 more followers than the Facebook page of the show itself.

An MTV spokesperson told HuffPost that Kompothecras was not involved in the shark-dragging video, but declined to comment on the shark-shooting video and Kompothecras’ suspected involvement.

The spokesperson expressed hope that threats being “unfairly made” against Kompothecras, as well as the other “Siesta Key” cast members, stop.

A spokesman for the Florida FWCC told HuffPost that the agency is investigating the shark-shooting video, along with other reported instances of abuse ― including the shark-dragging incident and a video of a man funneling beer through a hammerhead shark’s gills and into a person’s mouth.

The spokesman added that shooting or using explosives or chemicals to kill or harvest marine life is illegal in state waters.

HuffPost

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